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— Benton County's sales tax revenues for May are in and, for the fifth consecutive month now, the story is not good.

In May Benton County collected $714,774 in sales tax revenues, a 6.34 percent decrease - or $48,411 - from the $763,185 collected in May 2098.

"This brings the annual decrease close to 6 percent on average," said Richard McComas, county comptroller.

If there is any silver lining in the decreasing sales tax revenues, it is that May's numbers show the smallest decrease in the year to date, Justice of the Peace Kurt Moore said.

January's sales tax revenues saw a decrease of 6.55 percent - or $48,152 - while February marked the worst month of decline with a 13.25 percent - or $98,512 - decrease in county sales tax revenues.

March offered little reprieve with a 7.13 percent - or $55,855 - decrease, compared to the same time period in 2008 and sales tax revenues in April were also down 8.88 percent - or $65,074 - when compared to April 2008.

For the year to date, Benton County is down $305,752, compared to the same time period for 2008, McComas said.

Still McComas believes the county will receive the $9 in sales tax revenues projected for the year. Thus far, the county has received $4,837,248 in sales tax revenues.

News, Pages 8 on 08/12/2009

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