Morristown was the only MSA in NE Tennessee that had positive sales tax collection in November. Both Tri-Cities Metro areas were down, and Knoxville posted the region’s biggest year-over-year decline.
The pattern was in step with national consumer spending which slowed significantly. Industry groups reported a surge in early December spending, but the final numbers aren’t available yet.
The sales tax contraction follows the slowing growth rate trend in job creations and existing home sales. Until November the local average private sector wage was showing increases, but that indicator is undergoing an adjustment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics site is showing data from late 2012 to date as not available.
Tri-Cities collections were down in both the Johnson City and Kingsport-Bristol MSAs in October and November. Kingsport-Bristol began the dip a month earlier than Johnson City, according to seasonally adjusted numbers from the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations and MTSU’s Department of Economics and Finance.
Johnson City claimed a 49.2% share of the total Tri-Cities November collections – down 0.4% from November last year. The last time it managed more than an even split was September 2014.
November year-over-year collections:
Morristown, up 2.6%
Johnson City, down 0.6%
Kingsport-Bristol, down 0.8%
Knoxville, down 4.6%