Apparel spurs sales-tax boom in Danville
DANVILLE — Sales-tax totals in Danville are up from a year ago, with the clothing category leading the way.
Apparel registered a 41 percent increase in sales tax during the first three months of this year compared to the first quarter of last year, according to Vicki Haugen with economic development agency Vermilion Advantage. Apparel sales in Danville jumped from $1.5 million in the first quarter of 2013 to $2.1 million in 2014, generating $639,881 more in sales tax revenue.
General merchandise also posted a big increase — 19.6 percent — over last year, a $5.2 million gain.
The numbers, which come from the Illinois Department of Revenue, reflect only a portion of the total sales-tax dollars collected in Danville.
The state returns to the city 1 percent of the 6.25 percent sales tax it collects on merchandise, and these numbers reflect that 1 percent local share. The city also collects sales tax in addition to the 6.25 percent.
Still, Haugen said the numbers are strong indicators of what's happening across the board with sales.
Danville officials had been expecting this news, given the large retail businesses that opened in the city last year — three large stores (Kohl's, TJ Maxx, Meijer) in the same vicinity on North Vermilion Street and others (Ross Dress for Less, Burlington Coat Factory) at the Village Mall, also on North Vermilion.
Haugen said traffic counts are up 20 percent since a year ago on North Vermilion, and that has spilled over into other stores.
"Once you get people here and keep them, they will spend money," she said.
Other categories that showed sales-tax gains in the first quarter included lumber and building hardware (7 percent) and eating/drinking (5 percent).
There was a slight dip in sales tax generated in the automotive/filling station category in Danville, but Vermilion County as a whole registered an 8 percent increase in that area.