Maybe the trend will continue, although if perchance the mayor should run into constituent Gerald Thiel
he'd be less optimistic.Thiel, a longtime neighborhood advocate, is a physicist and mathematician and a statistical trends cruncher for the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau.He's
good at tracking and diagnosing trends and has developed a related hobby: charting Arlington's economic health, statistically speaking.
Most recently, that hobby has focused on sales taxes in Arlington, with Thiel
looking in particular at taxable retail sales from 1994 through 2004, then matching those numbers with census population data.
I know.Somebody really must persuade Thiel
that there are other critical numbers he
should focus on, such as reducing his
average number of putts per green from three to two.He
also would be more popular if he
kept bad news to himself, bad news being exactly what his
10-year sales tax analysis has turned out to be.
"Taxable retail sales in Arlington -- where tax revenues come from -- has been lagging behind population growth and price inflation for a number of years," Thiel
"That is all the more disturbing when realizing that constant taxable dollar sales per capita in the rest of Tarrant County actually rose 13 percent during the same decade," Thiel
...Thiel also figures that the status of Arlington as a declining job center is a factor, the problem being that commuters spend a portion of their incomes in other cities.
"The Parks mall did not have the same stimulus in part because it cannibalized the existing Six Flags and Forum 303 malls, did not have the same growing affluent market and was less convenient for persons in north Arlington," Thiel
said."In addition, retail and entertainment options have followed the rapidly growing Mansfield population so that residents there have less need to drive to Arlington
Not entirely gloomy, Thiel
believes that some positive prospects to improve the sales tax picture are taking place in Arlington
-- just not enough, or at least not yet.
appears to have evolved with systemic problems that will not easily be reversed," he