2011 sales tax, real estate sales down from 2010

San Juan County sales tax revenue and real estate sales in 2011 were down slightly from 2010.

Sales tax numbers

Auditor Milene Henley said total county sales tax revenue for 2011 will be 2.7 percent lower than it was in 2010. County sales tax revenue, which includes criminal justice, juvenile justice, lodging tax, mental health tax, and rural sales and use tax, totaled $5,087,083 in 2010 and will total roughly $4,950,000 in 2011.

Local option sales tax revenue, which makes up the largest part of county sales tax, was $2,900,904 in 2010. For 2011, that figure is $2,808,050, or 3.2 percent less.

“We have projected a modest increase for next year; I am concerned that we may not achieve even that, based on economic projections,” said county auditor Milene Henley. She said data in the Northwest Washington Labor Market Review notes that most economic projections are calling for a slowdown in recovery over the next year.

One bright spot can be found with lodging tax numbers, which are up county-wide from last year. In 2010, the total was $766,462. In 2011, it is $766,858. The Town of Friday Harbor is calculated separately. Those numbers are 2010: $95,000; 2011: $100,000.

San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau public relations manager Robin Jacobson said lodging tax numbers have been rising consistently, even throughout the recession.

Lodging tax by island for 2011

Orcas paid $390,232, or 50.89%

San Juan paid $269,606, or 35.16%

Lopez paid $107,020, or 13.96%

Total: $766,858

Lodging tax numbers from 2010 were not available at press time.

“People are coming and they’re spending money on lodging,” said Jacobson. “Some are not spending as much on purchases; they’re putting their dollars into the experience …They’re going out whale-watching; they’re going out kayaking, but are they buying as many souvenirs? We don’t think so.”

Real Estate sales

2010: All sales from 1/1/2010 through 11/30/2010

Number of sales Dollar volume

San Juan 151 $59,394,000

Orcas 110 $40,851,000

Lopez 42 $12,956,000

Others 32 $10,063,000

2011: All sales from 1/1/2011 through 11/30/2011

Number of sales Dollar volume

San Juan 133 $49,598,000

Orcas 90 $31,500,000

Lopez 38 $15,387,000

Others 19 $4,349,000

Percentage change in number of sales from 2010

San Juan -11.9%

Orcas -18.2%

Lopez -9.5%

Others -40.6%

Percentage change in dollar volume from 2010

San Juan -16.5%

Orcas  -22.9%

Lopez 18.8%

Others -56.8%