Unemployment may yo-yo. The housing market may be sluggish. But at least one sector of the local economy is showing slow but sure improvement.
Data released by the city of Duluth in recent days show tourism tax collections up 2.5 percent in May — the most recent month available — over May 2009. Moreover, revenues were up 4.5 percent over what the city had expected to bring in.
This continues a months-long trend of improvements.
So far this year, revenues from lodging, food and beverage taxes also are up a total of 4.5 percent compared to the same period last year.
Those tourism tax collections from January to May are putting $203,211 more in city coffers than the city had budgeted. That’s about $2.6 million coming in instead of about $2.4 million.
It’s not a staggering bonus. but it’s a heck of a lot better than the 8 percent drop in revenues the city saw in the first five months of recession-plagued 2009, compared to 2008.