The San Francisco Business Times kinda missed the point yesterday when it reported that Bay Area cities got 1/3 more in sales tax revenue than they did in January. What they missed telling us was that sales tax distributions are always up in February because that's when they dish out the taxes that were collected during the previous year's peak holiday shopping season.
As the chart above shows, the real story for Marin is that February distributions (the purple line) were -5% down on the same period for 2009 (the green line), and -19% below the same month in 2008 (brown line). So we have not reached the bottom yet. Having said that, I'm hearing that market conditions are improving, so I don't think it will be long before we see the purple line cross the green to show the retail sector moving out of recession.