As is generally the situation in our state and nation, during the past year Riverton City had hoped for clearer and quicker signs of a full economic recovery. However, and as has been the case for several years since the onset of the economic slowdown, conditions in Riverton are better than they are in Utah as a whole, and better than they are in the United States as a whole. This is largely a result of the strength of Riverton’s diverse and growing sales tax base.
This is illustrated by sales tax results from the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012. During this fiscal year, Riverton’s point-of-sale sales tax allocation increased by 6.2%, while our general state sales tax allocation increased by only 4.7%. Although Riverton’s sales taxes are anchored mostly in the general retail/grocery sectors, we also have strong and growing contributions from our restaurants and other eating establishments. In this regard, during the past year we were pleased to announce that the Texas Roadhouse steak restaurant will locate in Riverton. We believe this type of growth and stability will continue to characterize Riverton’s economy for many years to come.
During the past year our building permit activity was slightly below the previous year. This is consistent with general economic conditions. However, there are many bright spots that support an optimistic view of the future. Statewide, it is expected that in 2013 all-time highs will be reached in employment, total wages, population, and retail sales. And Utah currently ranks third among all states in rate of job growth.
We expect that 2013 will be a good year for Riverton City in economic development. Preliminary contacts with developers, retailers, and restaurateurs all indicate a growing interest in development. And in the meantime, our Public Works and Engineering Departments are doing a great job preparing for this development by upgrading old roads and infrastructure and constructing new projects. And, as is well known, good infrastructure is always the foundation of a bright economic future.