Sullivan County sales tax revenues up 7.3 percent

J. H. Osborne • Feb 18, 2007 at 11:12 AM

BLOUNTVILLE - Sales tax revenues are up about 7.3 percent in Sullivan County compared to the same point last year, according to information provided by the county's accounts and budgets office.

To date this fiscal year, nearly $27.88 million in sales tax revenue has been received by entities countywide. That's up about $1.9 million from this point last year.

Sales tax revenues are generated when money is spent on goods and services at businesses throughout the county and its cities - and they are used by local governments, largely, to support school systems.

When a consumer pays sales tax locally, it is sent to the state, which redistributes it back to the county and its cities based on collection site.

Sales tax revenue is typically distributed back to localities two months after being collected.

Taxes collected during December, for example, come back to the localities in February.

The latest report from the county's budget office covers sales tax revenues from August through February.

Larry Bailey, the county's top finance officer, has said this year's growth trend is the best in recent memory.

Indeed, last year's sales tax revenues in Sullivan County were up and down like a yo-yo for most of fiscal year 2006, which ended June 30.

According to this month's report, sales tax revenue for collections in non-city portions of Sullivan County, cumulative since July 1, are down about 1.9 percent compared to this time last year.

Sullivan County's Highway Department receives the county's revenue from sales taxes collected outside the cities.

Fiscal year 2007 began July 1 and covers the county's finances - and that of other local governments - through June 30, 2007.

Sales tax revenues received by local governments in Sullivan County in February totaled more than $4.74 million.

That's up about $117,000 compared to sales tax revenues in February 2006.

Also from this month's report:

• In February 2006, the state sent about $3.18 million total back for sales taxes collected within the city of Kingsport - with half, or nearly $1.59 million - going to the city of Kingsport's coffers and the other half being split among local school systems.

• For February 2007, the total was more than $3.2 million, with half, or roughly $1.6 million going to city coffers, and the other half going to the school systems.

• Kingsport's year-to-date share, since fiscal year 2007 began on July 1, shows total growth of about 6.3 percent over last year at this point.

• The Sullivan County school system's year-to-date share is about $7.82 million, up more than $483,000 compared to this point last year, an increase of about 6.6 percent.

• The Bristol City Schools system's year-to-date share is about $2.42 million, an increase of about $230,000 - or about 10.5 percent - compared to this point last year.

• The Kingsport City Schools system's year-to-date share is nearly $3.7 million, up $231,000 - or about 6.7 percent - compared to this point last year.

• The city of Bristol's year-to-date share is $3.06 million, up about $271,000 compared to this point last year - a growth of about 9.7 percent.

• Bluff City's year-to-date share is about $218,503, down about $12,500 compared to this point last year.

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