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Sales tax revenues continue to grow across Sullivan County

J. H. Osborne • Jun 27, 2016 at 9:18 AM

BLOUNTVILLE — Sales tax revenues countywide grew more than 5.7 percent this month compared to June 2015, according to a report prepared by Sullivan County’s accounting office.

The increase continues on an upward trend in sales tax revenue for most sites in the county for the 11th straight month this fiscal year.

For the fiscal year to date, sales tax revenues countywide have totaled nearly $49.71 million, a growth of about 7.8 percent (or about $3.6 million), compared to the same point last fiscal year.

And sales tax collections from businesses within the city of Kingsport continue to make up the bulk of all such collections, with nearly $31.55 million of the $49.71 million coming from within the Model City.

Businesses inside the city of Bristol generated about $11.37 million of the $49.71 million.

The $31.55 million figure for Kingsport during the 11-month period represents growth of $1.43 million, or 4.7 percent, compared to the same period a year prior.

The $11.37 million figure for Bristol during the 11-month period represents growth of more than $1.78 million, or 18.6 percent, compared to the same period a year ago.

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 — 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.

Countywide, local sales tax revenues this month (generated by sales in April) totaled about $4.5 million — up 5.73 percent, or about $241,000, compared to the same month a year ago.

Where did the $49.71 million in revenue, so far this year, go?

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

• The city of Kingsport’s non-school share of taxes totals about $15.77 million, an increase of $714,000, compared to a year ago.

• The Kingsport City Schools system’s share is more than $7.87 million, an increase of $630,000, compared to a year ago.

• The city of Bristol’s non-school share totals about $5.68 million, an increase of $892,000, compared to a year ago.

• The Bristol City Schools system’s share totals about $4.9 million, an increase of $474,000, compared to a year ago.

• Sullivan County’s non-school portion of sales taxes generated outside the cities totals more than $2.96 million, an increase of $117,000, compared to a year ago.

• The Sullivan County Schools system’s share is $12.08 million, an increase of $693,000, compared to a year ago.