Tempe, Ariz., brought in $81.9 million from its sales tax in fiscal 2012, the first time annual sales tax revenues topped $80 million since fiscal 2007, when they were $80.8 million.

Retail sales accounted for $65 million of the 2012 total.

Finance director Ken Jones told the City Council last week that sales tax revenues were the highest in 10 years.

Sales tax revenue hit a low of $66.5 million in fiscal 2010, Jones said.

Voters in 2010 approved a four-year increase of Tempe's sales tax to 2% from 1.8%.

Without the temporarily higher rate, Jones said, 2012 sales tax revenues would have been $71.3 million. Retail tax revenues would have dropped to $59 million without the additional 0.2%, he said.

Tempe had an unreserved general fund balance of $48.2 million at the end of fiscal 2012, approximately 30% of total annual general fund revenue.

The city is located in Maricopa County, approximately 15 miles east of downtown Phoenix.

Tempe's $468.2 million of outstanding general obligation debt is rated Aa1 by Moody's Investors Service and AAA by Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings.

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