LOMPOC & SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Over the last four quarters, sales tax revenue for both Lompoc and Santa Maria have increased each quarter consecutively.
The industries with the most sales growth came from auto, transportation, restaurants, hotels and gas stations.
In June, Lompoc had the highest unemployment rate in the count at 13.9% and Santa Maria wasn't much better at 11.6% but both these cities have seen increases in their sales tax revenue which could be a promising sign for the future.
"We have a very aggressive economic development effort," says Lompoc Mayor John Linn.
"We will have a couple exciting announcements next week. Our new Marshalls store is almost ready to open so you'll see some very substantial increases in the fourth quarter of this year."
In Lompoc, tax receipts for the 2010-2011 fiscal year were $2.9 million and grew to $3.2 million the following fiscal year.
"We attribute that to three things: As a community, we focus more on shopping locally. Number two, we have new businesses that have opened and number three, businesses have expanded," says Linn.
Tax receipts in Santa Maria also grew. In the 12 month ending in March of 2012, tax revenue was 10.3 percent higher than the 12 months before that.
But the totals are still significantly lower than the peaks reached in 2007 and 2008 and the mayor knows Lompoc still has a long way to go.
"Our staff is on 13 day furloughs right now. This is our economic development effort to reduce those number one and then to add police and fire," says Linn.
Both Lompoc and Santa Maria unemployment levels are still higher than the county average which is at 7.9%.
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