The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce today released retail sales tax data which show aggregate retail sales in Charlottesville and Albemarle have increased by +3.65% over the first half of 2011over 2010 levels. The data also showed that over the first half of 2011, retail sales increased in Augusta, Greene & Louisa Counties and in Waynesboro compared to 2010 levels. Virginia Department of Taxation sales tax data compiled showed that retail sales increased Albemarle County by +6.87% over the first half of 2011 while decreasing within the City of Charlottesville by a razor thin -0.46%. Albemarle and Charlottesville, the region�s retail hub, accounted for $1.045 billion in total retail sales over the first half of 2011; in the aggregate an increase of $37 million compared with the $1.008 billion in total sales in 2010�s first half. (The �decline� in sales reported within the City of Charlottesville is in part due to on-going tax reporting adjustments. 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.) Aggregate retail sales within Albemarle and Charlottesville, the region�s retail hub, have risen each of the past nine months and 11 of the past 12 months; a reversal of a long-term downward trend that began in late 2007. However, retail sales in Albemarle County and Charlottesville continue to lag behind 2006 levels. During the first half of 2011 (January � June) compared to the first half of 2010, retail sales increased in Albemarle County +6.87%; Augusta County +3.23%; Greene County, +35.76%; Louisa County +2.86% and Waynesboro +6.30%, while retail sales decreased in Charlottesville -0.46%. 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 retail sales equates to a loss of jobs and as well as a local tax revenue loss. The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to representing private enterprise, promoting business and enhancing the quality of life in the Greater Charlottesville communities. Founded in 1913, the Chamber�s 1,000 member enterprises employ more than 45,000 men and women in the Greater Charlottesville region, representing an estimated total payroll of more than $1.3 billion a year.
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