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Sales tax revenues continue to grow in Kingsport, Bristol, Sullivan County

J. H. Osborne • Sep 29, 2016 at 7:30 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — Sales tax revenues countywide grew 5.2 percent this month compared to September 2015, according to a report prepared by Sullivan County’s accounting office.

It marks 14 straight months of growth for most sites in the county.

September sales tax revenue countywide totaled more than $4.4 million, a growth of 5.2 percent (or about $217,000) compared to the same period last year.

And sales tax collections from businesses within the city of Kingsport continue to make up the bulk of all such collections, with about $2.67 million of the $4.4 million coming from within the Model City.

Businesses inside the city of Bristol generated $1.07 million of the $4.4 million.

For the two-month period since the current fiscal year began, the portion of sales tax collections generated within Kingsport represents growth of $91,364, or about 1.6 percent, compared to the same two months a year ago.

The figure for Bristol during the two-month period represents growth of $332,358, or about 17.2 percent, compared to a year ago.

Sales tax revenues come back to the localities two months after they are collected by local merchants. July 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 — this month.

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 the 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.

Every dollar 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.

Year-to-date, the countywide total for sale tax revenue is nearly $9.35 million. That represents an increase of $473,000 (or 5.33 percent) from the same period last year.

Where did the $9.35 million in revenue go?

According to the accounting office’s report (some numbers rounded):

• The city of Kingsport’s non-school share of taxes totals more than $2.85 million, an increase of $45,682 compared to a year ago.

• The Kingsport City Schools system’s share is more than $1.49 million, an increase of about $94,000 compared to a year ago.

• The city of Bristol’s non-school share totals more than $1.13 million, an increase of $166,000 compared to a year ago.

• The Bristol City Schools system’s share totals more than $926,000, an increase of $51,000 compared to a year ago.

• Sullivan County’s non-school portion of sales taxes generated outside the cities totals nearly $607,000, an increase of about $45,000 compared to a year ago.

• The Sullivan County Schools system’s share is more than $2.25 million, an increase of almost $91,000 compared to a year ago.