Sullivan sales tax revenues behind last year

J. H. Osborne • Dec 31, 2012 at 9:58 AM

BLOUNTVILLE — Monthly sales tax collections across Sullivan County, and the subsequent revenue to local school systems and governments, remain down for the fiscal year to date, according to a report prepared by the county’s budget office.

The past two months have shown increases from the same period a year ago, but not enough to completely offset decreases in earlier months.

The countywide total of about $19.76 million since the fiscal year began July 1 represents a $106,000 drop compared to the same five-month period last year. That’s less than one percent.

Sales tax revenues come back to the localities two months after they are collected by local merchants. October sales tax collections, for example, came back as revenue to Sullivan County, Kingsport, Bristol, Bluff City and Johnson City — as well as to the three school systems in the county — in December.

Sales tax revenues are generated when money is spent on goods and services at businesses throughout the county and its cities. 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.

Local option sales tax revenues are split 50/50 — with half going to school systems in the county and the other half going to the local government where the collecting business is located.

Each $1 of local option sales taxes collected in Kingsport, for example, generates 50 cents for the county’s three school systems (the money is split based on average daily attendance) and 50 cents for city coffers.

From the budget office’s report:

•The city of Kingsport’s non-school share of taxes for the five-month period totals $6.21 million — up about $15,000 from same time last year.

•The Kingsport City Schools system’s share is at about $2.96 million, up about $105,000 compared to last year.

•The city of Bristol’s non-school share so far totals $2.3 million, up about $304,000 compared to last year.

•The Bristol City Schools system’s share totals about $1.83 million, up $3,000 compared to last year.

•Sullivan County’s portion for sales taxes generated outside the cities totals $1.27 million, down $357,0000 compared to a year ago.

•The Sullivan County Schools system’s share totals $5.09 million, down $161,000 compared to last year.

•Bluff City’s share totals about $58,000, down about $15,000 compared to last year.

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