VAN WERT — For the fourth consecutive month, sales in Van Wert County dropped from collections one year ago. The March reports show a much smaller loss than the past months of 2014, but it did continue a downward trend that began with the December 2013 report.

The figures released in March by Van Wert County Auditor Bev Fuerst reflect sales from January 2014 sales in the county. The numbers show a 2.5 percent drop over January 2013 sales. Tax revenues were down by $10,600 for the month, putting the county behind by more than $68,000 in the first quarter of 2014. The county has budgeted a total of $4,020,000, so the budget has a $111,000 cushion for the year. Provided the decreases end soon, the county budget should not be affected.

The March 2014 indicated that the tax income to the county was $408,344.10. Although that figure represents a decrease from March 2013, it is the second-largest sales tax collection in Van Wert County, dating back though at least 2010.

The tax income from Van Wert County’s 1.5 percent sales tax has been increasing for several years before finally topping the $4 million mark in 2013. Through the past three years, monthly reports have shown near-consistent increases in tax revenues, and so, in sales within the county.

In 2010, the total income from the sales tax was more than $3.6 million. Two years later, the total fell just short of $4 million, clearing that hurdle the next year.