(Charlottesville, Virginia � May 12) The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce today released compiled retail sales tax data which show area retail sales continue to rise over the first quarter of 2011.� Retail sales increased in Albemarle, Greene, Louisa and Waynesboro, while retail sales in Augusta, and Charlottesville have declined compared to 2010 levels. Compiled Virginia Department of Taxation sales tax data showed that during the first quarter of 2011 (January � March) compared to the first quarter of 2010, retail sales increased in Albemarle County +12.02%; Greene County, +31.28%; Louisa County, +4.76% and Waynesboro +6.32%.� Retail sales over the same period were down in Charlottesville -2.26%; and Augusta County -1.12%. �(Retail sales have increased dramatically in Greene County over the past several months as a Walmart Super Store opened at Ruckersville near the end of 2010; Louisa County saw a similar gain over 2010 with a new Walmart Store which opened in late 2009 at Zion�s Crossroad.) Also, the apparent decline within the City of Charlottesville may be due to an on-going tax reporting adjustment.� In mid-2010, Albemarle County officials undertook an analysis of retail sales reporting which revealed that businesses in the County with �Charlottesville� mailing addresses were reported incorrectly as having occurred within the City.� The resulting adjustments moved retail sales to the proper jurisdiction resulting in an increase with the County and a corresponding decline in the City.� This data does not capture the amount of those adjustments. The upturn in the region�s retail hub � Albemarle & Charlottesville � last year continues for a six straight month.� However, the data (+1.12%) suggest a slowing in retail activity within the hub.� Also the data continue to show that overall retail activity in the Albemarle-Charlottesville hub remains lower than comparable periods in 2006-2008.�� According to the 2010 Chamber Jobs Report, the employment reporting sector of �Trade, Transportation & Utilities,� hold the largest segment of jobs, 14,682 or 20.8%in the Chamber�s Greater Charlottesville regional service area � virtually all created through private investment and general commercial activity.� An increase in retail sales equates to a gain in jobs and local tax revenues while conversely a decline in sales equates to a loss of jobs and as well as a local tax revenue loss.
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