Kingsport-Bristol sales tax collections see year’s 5th double-digit increase

Sales tax collectionsKingsport-Bristol sales tax collections continued a roller-coaster performance in September with the fifth double-digit year-to-year increase this year.

The MTSU Business and Economic Research Center/Tenn. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations report shows Kingsport-Bristol collections 15.4% better than September last year. That’s the biggest year-to-year state-wide increase for seasonally adjusted collections. Chattanooga had the next highest with 9.5% followed by Nashville at 8.8%.

Johnson City MSA September collections were 6.5% better than they were during September last year.

So far this year Tri-Cities collections have been negative when compared to last year one time.  Last month’s collections were 10.8% better than September last year.

Sept sales taxKingsport-Bristol accounted for the Tri-Cities’ largest share of last month’s collections but not by much. Even though Kingsport-Bristol is the larger area spending patterns show collections is almost equally divided among the region’s two MSAs.

Increases for non-seasonal adjusted collections for both MSAs are higher when adjusted for inflation against a pre-recession benchmark of September 2008.  That comparison shows a 1.4% increase in the four-county Kingsport-Bristol MSA and 1.6% in the three counties that make up the Johnson City MSA.

All four East Tennessee MSAs were higher than last year:

Kingsport-Bristol, up 15.4%

Knoxville, up 7.8%.

Johnson City, up 6.5%.

Morristown, up 1.6%.

An improving jobs picture is the primary driver of this year’s sales tax collections increase, but  the effect of a dramatic decrease in gasoline prices can’t be discounted.  Local drivers are currently paying almost half of what they were before gas prices began their historic slide.  And national studies have shown that consumers are spending the savings instead of banking them.


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