J. H. Osborne • Oct 30, 2007 at 12:00 AM

BLOUNTVILLE — Sales tax revenues in Sullivan County have slipped a little each month since July, compared to the same months a year ago.

A three-month spreadsheet released by the county’s budget office shows August sales tax revenues were about 1.2 percent less this year than in 2006. The figures for September and October show decreases of about 3 percent and 3.73 percent, respectively.

In total, sales tax revenues for the three-month period are about $305,000 — or about 2.65 percent — less than the same period last year.

The drop follows the exit of Sam’s Wholesale Club from Kingsport’s retail lineup.

There’s no doubt that contributed to the drop, Sullivan County Accounts and Budgets Director Larry Bailey said Monday.

But he and other county officials are hopeful the loss will be offset soon by the recent openings of Kohl’s, Target and multiple others retailers at the Kingsport Pavilion development on Stone Drive, Bailey said.

Sales tax revenues are generated when money is spent on goods and services at businesses throughout the county and its cities. The money is 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 June, for example, come back to the localities in August.

Since the fiscal year began July 1, sales tax revenues from non-city portions of the county are up about 8.4 percent — more than $67,000 — compared to this time last year.

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

Also provided by the report:

• Sales tax revenues received by local governments in Sullivan County during the three months totaled more than $11.16 million.

That’s down from more than $11.47 million for the same period last year.

• For the same period in 2006, the state sent about $7.1 million total back for sales taxes collected within the city of Kingsport — with half, or nearly $3.56 million — going to the city of Kingsport’s coffers and the other half being split among local school systems.

• This year the total for the period was more than $6.63 million, with half, or roughly $3.32 million going to city coffers, and the other half going to the school systems.

• Kingsport’s year-to-date share, since fiscal year 2008 began on July 1, shows a total decrease of nearly $242,000 — or about 6.8 percent — compared to last year at this point.

• The Sullivan County school system’s year-to-date share is nearly $3.1 million, down about $125,000 compared to this point last year, a decrease of 3.87 percent.

• The Bristol City Schools system’s year-to-date share is about $984,000, a drop of about $12,500 — or about 1.25 percent — compared to this point last year.

• The Kingsport City Schools system’s year-to-date share is about $1.5 million, down about $15,000 — or about 1 percent — compared to this point last year.

• The city of Bristol’s year-todate share is about $1.3 million, up about $35,000 compared to this point last year — a growth of 2.75 percent.

• Bluff City’s year-to-date share is about $89,000, down about $10,000 compared to this point last year.

Fiscal year 2008 began July 1 and covers the county’s finances — and that of other local governments — through June 30, 2008.

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