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Recent data released by the city debunks a common belief in Sedona — Uptown generates all the tax dollars.

Shops line State Route 89A in Uptown and State Route 179 in the gallery district — connected to Uptown —  and have long-been believed to attract the majority of the money spenders.

Sedona Red Rock News Managing Editor Trista Steers MacVittieThe Uptown and State Route 179 enhancement projects created a uniform, pedestrian-friendly and aesthetically pleasing shopping district for visitors and residents alike further supporting the theory.

West Sedona, on the other hand, took a backseat to Uptown in many people’s opinions. People often cited its assumed inability to generate tax revenue as a reason not to spend tax dollars there.

The argument asserted tax dollars should be spent in areas that will, in return, generate more tax dollars.

A recent graph released by the city — published on Page 1A of today’s Sedona Red Rock News — shows this theory just doesn’t hold.

According to the graph, Uptown edged West Sedona by less than $1 million in generated sales tax revenue during fiscal year 2011-2012.

While $1 million certainly isn’t pocket change for a small city like Sedona, it represents less than 5 percent of the tax revenue generated in FY 2011-12.

The numbers breakdown says a few things about business in the city while also raising a few questions.

West Sedona is netting sales — whether they’re coming from tourists or residents is unknown.

Either more tourists are venturing their way down the State Route 89A corridor when they pull out their wallets, or residents are indeed heeding the Sedona Chamber of Commerce’s advice and shopping locally.

Unfortunately, sales tax statistics cannot be derived in this manner.

It is clear, however, the West Sedona business district is alive; just as alive as Uptown’s.

Which sector is generating the revenue is another unknown in both of the city’s dominant areas.

Are more people spending money in restaurants and bars?

Or, have retail sales picked up?

Perhaps people are spending more nights in Sedona generating bed tax?

It would be nice to know which types of business are doing better in which areas of the city, and city staff said it plans to determine that next time.

The new data brings a new perspective and appreciation of the businesses in West Sedona.


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