Sullivan County sales tax revenues drop in March

J. H. Osborne • Mar 19, 2007 at 12:57 PM

BLOUNTVILLE - For the first time this fiscal year, monthly sales tax revenues in Sullivan County dropped in March compared to the same month in 2006.

But the countywide year-to-date total remains up about 6.3 percent compared to the same point last year.

To date this fiscal year, nearly $31.36 million in sales tax revenue has been received by entities countywide. That's up about $1.89 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 January, for example, come back to the localities in March.

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

For the previous seven months, countywide sales tax revenue had come in ahead of last year.

According to this month's report, sales tax revenue for collections in non-city portions of Sullivan County, cumulative since the fiscal year began July 1, are down about 1.3 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 March totaled more than $3.48 million.

That's down about $22,000 compared to sales tax revenues in March 2006.

Also from this month's report:

•In March 2006, the state sent about $2.17 million total back for sales taxes collected within the city of Kingsport - with half, or nearly $1.09 million - going to the city of Kingsport's coffers and the other half being split among local school systems.

•For March 2007, the total was more than $2.22 million, with half, or roughly $1.11 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 5.8 percent over last year at this point.

•The Sullivan County school system's year-to-date share is about $8.8 million, up more than $477,000 compared to this point last year, an increase of about 5.8 percent.

•The Bristol City Schools system's year-to-date share is about $2.725 million, an increase of about $229,000 - or about 9.2 percent - compared to this point last year.

•The Kingsport City Schools system's year-to-date share is about $4.16 million, up $228,000 - or about 5.8 percent - compared to this point last year.

•The city of Bristol's year-to-date share is $3.45 million, up about $221,000 compared to this point last year - a growth of about 6.8 percent.

•Bluff City's year-to-date share is about $248,000, down about $8,000 compared to this point last year.

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