Retail sales tax collections go negative in Kingsport-Bristol and Johnson City MSAs

Retail sales tax collections in the four county Kingsport-Bristol MSA declined for the second straight month in April.

According to the Business and Economic Research Center at Middle Tennessee State University adjusted collection were down 0.8% from March and 3.4% lower than April last year. The year-over-year collections have been down for three of the four months of this year.

April 2013PP

Chart tracks seasonally adjusted retail sales tax collection in thousands of dollars. Source MTSU Business and Economic Research Center.

Job creation declines in both MSAs

A contributing issue to the sagging sales tax collections is job creation in the MSA has declined 10 straight months on the year-over-year job creation comparisons, according to revised Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

A similar softness in sales tax collections can be seen in the Johnson City MSA. Collections in that three-county area were unchanged from March and 3.8% lower than they were April last year. Year-over-year job creation in that MSA has declined for 10 straight months. The average weekly page for private sector employees has also been trending lower than it was last year.

Johnson city collections down every month is year

Sales tax collection in Johnson City have declined every month his year when compared to collection on the same months last year.

ETSU Economists Dr. Steb Hipple should be finished with his first quarter retail sales analysis in the next week or so. That will provide a little closer look at what going on. The big thing data watchers will be looking for is the performance of the Bristol retail sector in comparison to Kingsport and Johnson City.

Bristol’s retail market has outperformed the larger markets in Johnson City and Kingsport every quarter since Q1 last on the year-over-year growth metric.

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