In what should come as no surprise to local merchants, the city last week reported that sales tax receipts for the first quarter of the year fell sharply from those reported for the same three-month period in the previous year.
Bad weather and road closures in January, February and March drove down the tax receipts from Malibu’s retail operations 11.8 percent over last year, according to figures released by City Manager Harry Peacock.
“Mr. El Nino had a bit of an effect, especially on the restaurant and hotel business,” said Peacock.
Tax receipts from restaurants and hotels, which accounted for 30 percent of local sales, were down 6.7 percent.
Receipts from service stations fell more than 14 percent, but were consistent with the dip in receipts across L.A. County.
Despite the tumble in sales at some types of businesses, strong sales at Malibu’s apparel and specialty shops and lumber and hardware stores pushed up receipts from those business groups.
An accounting adjustment removed Hughes market from the list of the city’s top 25 producers of sales tax receipts. (See chart.)
At the same time that sales were off at many of Malibu’s businesses, the state and much of Southern California posted gains for the first quarter. The state Board of Equalization reported sales tax receipts for the state were up 5.5 percent. Tax receipts from across Southern California averaged a 4.2 percent increase. Complete figures for L.A. County were not available.
Malibu’s Top 25 Sales Tax Receipt Producers for first quarter 1998 are:
(in alphabetical order)
AM PM Mini Mart
Coogie’s Beach Caf
Coral Beach Cantina
Country Club Fashions
Malibu Masonry Supply
Pacific Coast Highway Unocal
Paul Gross and Associates
Pierview Caf & Cantina
- on Osco Drug Stores
Source: The HdL Companies