VERDE VALLEY - The November sales tax report from the Arizona Department of Revenue for the communities of the Verde Valley shows a lot of improvement from the same month last year.
Cottonwood, Camp Verde, Clarkdale and Jerome are all up over November 2011 in the sales tax categories for retail tax, total tax and year-to-date tax.
Cottonwood jumped in retail sales tax from $554,489 for November last year to $629,836 for 2012.
Rudy Rodriguez, director of finance for the City of Cottonwood, said he hadn't seen the tax report yet because of the holidays.
"But I suspect they're doing well because holiday shopping started up early," he said. "I'm interested to see what the coming months will do. I wouldn't hang my hat on those numbers until I see December and January."
He said it seems that every year the holiday shopping season starts a little earlier.
"What little information I have gathered, it kind of slowed down around Christmas," Rodriguez said. "Right now, any growth is good growth. If it's small and steady, I'll take that."
Rodriguez said he isn't really highly concerned about the so-called fiscal cliff and all the issues surrounding that. He said those things always seem to work out and business works through them.
He said Old Town is bustling every day.
"We're hanging in there," he said.
Rodriguez said he is grateful that Cottonwood isn't like Maricopa or Buckeye, or other communities that just sprung up. He said Cottonwood's construction was fairly limited and the city had steady growth for a while.
Camp Verde also saw a nice jump in retail sales tax revenue from $42,745 last November to $71,549 for this year.
"That's a pretty hefty increase," said Steve Goetting, chairman of the Camp Verde Chamber of Commerce. "I'm seeing a steady increase in business in the community."
He pointed out that even though the community has lost some businesses, it also has gained some new businesses, such as a new bakery.
"There is a new energy taking hold," he said. "I'm really looking forward to 2013."
Goetting said there is a synergy being built with all of the new activity in downtown. He mentioned the new Verde Valley Archeology Museum, which recently moved into a much larger space made available by the Chamber of Commerce. He also pointed out the restoration work along the Verde River, as well as the growth of the wine industry locally.
"Camp Verde is going to have a River Fest March 22 and 23," he said.
There will be bluegrass music and a canoe float, all coinciding with the Verde River Canoe Challenge and Camp Verde's Fourth Friday
Clarkdale had a moderate increase for retail sales tax to $3,384 for this November from $3,079 last year. Jerome also increased its retail sales tax collections for November from $26,479 last year to $28,019 this year.