Perhaps blame it on the cold weather — but Evanston retail sales in February, as reflected in sales tax payments by the state to the city this month, slumped below year ago levels.

The figures from the Illinois Department of Revenue show that sales tax revenue the city received this month fell to $1.08 million, down 6.6 percent from the same month in 2013.

It was the first month this year that sales tax receipts in Evanston haven’t exceeded year ago levels.

Evanston’s performance was also worse than that of the state as a whole for the first time this year. For all Illinois municipalities sales tax receipts this month were up 1.6 percent from a year ago.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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