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Countywide sales tax revenues exceed $54.8 million for fiscal year just ended

J. H. Osborne • Jul 27, 2017 at 9:30 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — Monthly sales tax revenues countywide were up nearly 5 percent this month compared to July 2016, according to a report prepared by Sullivan County’s accounting office.

July sales tax revenue totaled nearly $4.51 million, an increase of $212,000 over July of last year.

It is the last reporting period of the fiscal year that ended June 30 for local governments, and the countywide total for the 12-month period showed an overall increase of 1.52 percent over the prior budget cycle.

The countywide total for the 12-month period was nearly $54.83 million — up $819,681 over last year.

Sales tax collections from businesses within the city of Kingsport continue to make up the bulk of revenue, although the Model City ended the 12-month period down about $455,000 compared to last year.

For July, about $2.84 million of the $4.51 million countywide total was generated within the Model City.

For the 12-month period, more than $33.75 million of the nearly $54.83 countywide total was generated within Kingsport.

Businesses inside the city of Bristol generated about $1.03 million of July’s $4.51 million countywide total. And for the 12-month period, nearly $13.36 million of the $54.83 million countywide total was generated within Bristol. Bristol ended the 12-month period up $956,000 compared to last year.

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

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.

Fiscal-year-to-date, the countywide total for sales tax revenue is about $50.32 million. That represents an increase of about $608,000 (or about 1.2 percent) from the same period last year.

Where did that $54.83 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 about $16.88 million, a decrease of about $228,000 compared to a year ago.

• The Kingsport school system’s share is about $8.86 million, an increase of $307,0000 compared to a year ago.

• The city of Bristol’s non-school share totals nearly $6.68 million, an increase of about $478,000 compared to a year ago.

• The Bristol school system’s share totals nearly $5.41 million, an increase of $74,500 compared to a year ago.

• Sullivan County’s non-school portion of sales taxes totals about $3.37 million, an increase of $147,000 compared to a year ago.

• The Sullivan County school system’s share is $13.14 million, an increase of about $28,000 compared to a year ago.

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