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      City sales tax receipts show improvement over prior year

      According to the city's sales tax receipts, Amarillo's Shop Local campaign has made a positive impact on the local economy.

      After seeing the results of the holiday season, City of Amarillo Finance Director Michelle Bonner said city officials are hoping the trend will continue.

      "Our deposit- and this would be December sales- we received $5,286,000, which is up over $200,000 from the prior year."

      The money the city sees from sales tax goes to the general fund, which benefits the Amarillo Police Department, the Amarillo Fire Department, streets and local parks.

      Some local stores took notice of the sale increases this Christmas, and a lot of employees are contributing that increase to the Shop Local campaign.

      "We were so busy," Sweet Creations Designer Patsy Wiggs stated. "We did better than we did the year before. We had so many new customers come in."

      "Christmas sales were, really, very good," The Banana Bush Owner Debbie Bowerman said. "There was a lot of more people out and about. This, to me, was the best Christmas I think I've had in about three or four years."

      The Amarillo Chamber of Commerce continues to ask locals to keep their dollars in Amarillo. The economy is on the rise, and with money staying in the community, officials expect Amarillo's economy to keep improving.