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Sullivan sees slight sales tax dip for fiscal year

J. H. Osborne • Jul 27, 2013 at 9:48 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — Monthly sales tax revenues across Sullivan County were down slightly for the fiscal year that ended June 30, according to a report prepared by the county’s budget office.

Revenue figures are in for all 12 months of that budget cycle. Monthly sales tax revenues, overall countywide, showed an increase in six of those months, but not enough to offset the decreases in the other six.

The most recent month reported a countywide drop of 1.44 percent compared to the same month a year prior.

The 12-month total shows a cumulative drop of about one-half of 1 percent.

The countywide total of about $46.94 million since the fiscal year began July 1, 2012 represents a $216,000 drop compared to the same 12-month period last year.

Sales tax revenues come back to the localities two months after they are collected by local merchants. April 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 June.

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 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 12-month period totals nearly $15.2 million — up about $146,000 from the same time last year.

• The Kingsport City Schools system’s share is $7.06 million, up $179,000 compared to last year.

• The city of Bristol’s non-school share totals nearly $5.07 million, up $193,000 compared to last year.

• The Bristol City Schools system’s share totals about $4.4 million, up $24,000 compared to last year.

• Sullivan County’s portion for sales taxes generated outside the cities totals almost $2.96 million, down $177,0000 compared to a year ago.

• The Sullivan County Schools system’s share totals $12.03 million, down $311,000 compared to last year.

• Bluff City’s share totals about $147,000, down about $9,000 compared to last year.

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