Sullivan sales taxes running 6.55 percent ahead of 2006

J. H. Osborne • Apr 19, 2007 at 11:24 AM

BLOUNTVILLE - After a small dip last month, Sullivan County continues to see some of the best growth in sales tax revenue in several years, the county's top finance officer said Thursday.

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

They rebounded this month, Accounts and Budgets Director Larry Bailey said.

Countywide, the year-to-date total is up about 6.55 percent compared to the same point last year, Bailey said.

To date this fiscal year, more than $34.66 million in sales tax revenue has been received by entities countywide. That's up more than $2.13 million from this point last year, Bailey said, "And we've still got three months to go in the fiscal year."

In comparison, total growth during the entire previous fiscal year totaled $1.6 million - or 4 percent, Bailey said.

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 February, for example, come back to the localities in April.

The latest sales tax report from Bailey's office covers revenues from August through April.

For eight of the nine months, countywide sales tax revenues have 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 1.8 percent compared to this time last year.

That revenue stream helps fund the Sullivan County Highway Department.

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 April totaled almost $3.3 million.

That's up about $263,000 compared to sales tax revenues in April 2006.

Also from this month's report:

•In April 2006, the state sent about $1.95 million total back for sales taxes collected within the city of Kingsport - with half, or about $975,000 - going to the city of Kingsport's coffers and the other half being split among local school systems.

•For April 2007, the total was more than $2.12 million, with half, or roughly $1.06 million going to city coffers, and the other half going to the school systems.

•Kingsport's year-to-date share is more than $10.9 million, total growth of about 6.1 percent over last year at this point.

•The Sullivan County school system's year-to-date share is more than $9.7 million, up almost $540,000 compared to this point last year, an increase of about 5.9 percent.

•The Bristol City Schools system's year-to-date share is more than $3.01 million, an increase of about $256,000 - or about 9.3 percent - compared to this point last year.

•The Kingsport City Schools system's year-to-date share is more than $4.6 million, up $270,000 - or about 6.2 percent - compared to this point last year.

•The city of Bristol's year-to-date share is $3.8 million, up about $272,000 compared to this point last year - a growth of about 7.7 percent.

•Bluff City's year-to-date share is about $276,000, down about $5,500 compared to this point last year.

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