Sales tax collections in Mesa grew in August, September and October compared to a year ago, marking the first time in about two years that city tax collections were positive for three consecutive months.
Officials are hoping sales tax figures from the holiday season continue the trend.
"It looks like the economy is turning around," said Don Ayers, Mesa’s tax and licensing director.
Sales tax collected in August and reported in September was up 0.9 percent. Collections in September that were reported in October were up 10.2 percent. And collections in October reported in December were up 7.9 percent.
Combined sales tax collections for the 12 months preceding August were negative 2.4 percent, Ayers said.
City officials will know sometime next week how much sales tax was collected in November. December’s figures won’t be known until the beginning of February, Ayers said.
Some downtown merchants said business was good during the holidays.
Greg Farr, co-owner of Antique Plaza, 114 W. Main St., said his business was up 4 percent during the holidays compared with last year.
"It was very good," Farr said.
Mark Imbeault, owner of a fine art and sculpture gallery at 119 W. Main St., said he sold several pieces of art during the holidays.
Imbeault and about a half-dozen other merchants held a free eight-course dinner in December to entice people into the city’s core. Between 600 and 700 people turned out, which generated sales that night and spin-off business through the rest of the month, he said.
"I had a pretty good Christmas, so I’m pretty happy," he said.