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Mayor's Office Heading City Letter Head

September 27, 2002
For More Information Contact:
Dave Norris, Citizen Information Center, 441-7547
Darl Naumann, Mayor's Office, 441-7514
Don Herz, Finance Director, 441-7411

Indicators Show Stronger Local Economy
Sales Tax Revenue, Construction & Employment Reports Show Positive Trends

Lincoln Mayor Don Wesely today said a record-setting year in construction investment along with the latest reports showing increasing sales in the City and rising employment point to a strengthening local economy.

Wesely released the latest monthly sales tax revenue report for the City showing a 31 percent increase in net collections over the same month last year. The increase is $386,000 more than the projections for September and is $993,802 above last year's collection for the same period. Gross sales tax collections were 10.3 percent higher than the same month last year. The figures reflect July sales, which are reported to the state in August and received by the City in September. Sales tax revenues provide 42 percent of the City's tax- supported budget. Wesely said the fewer business refunds contributed to the large increase in net sales tax revenue to the city.

"This is great news for the first month of the City's new fiscal year," said Mayor Wesely. "It is especially encouraging because this is the fourth consecutive month of growth in the gross and net sales tax revenues. The sales tax report along with the record $508 million value of building permits are good signs of a strengthening economy in Lincoln. Lincoln's economy is recovering and growing." he added.

The City's fiscal year end construction activity report shows the value of building permits issued exceeded $500 million for the first time in the city's history. The report covers the value of construction permits in Lincoln from September 1, 2001 to August 31, 2002. The amount is 13.5 percent higher than the previous year. The report compiled by the Building and Safety Department shows that the number of building permits issued for period increased 3.3 percent above the previous year. The City issued 4,420 building permits in the fiscal year that ended on August 31.

The Mayor also pointed to a Nebraska Department of Labor report which states that the number of employed persons in the County increased 1,619 from 143,133 in July 2001 to 144,752 in July 2002. The increased number of people working is a sign that the employment base is growing.

Companies that have announced additional jobs this year include Kawasaki, Garner Industries, Burlington Northern, Cabela's and Transactional Application Group. According to the state labor market information, employment increases were recorded in finance, insurance, real estate, retail and wholesale trade sectors.

"The City, County, State, LES, the Partnership for Economic Development and the private sector have been working well together in Lincoln," Wesely said. "We are working hard to add and retain jobs in Lincoln. We are pleased to see the economic progress being made."

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