Tri-Cities retail sales tax collections recovering from their funk

Retail sales tax collections in both the Tri-Cities two Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) continue their rebound from a steep March funk that dropped collections to a two-year low.

Seasonally adjusted totals from Middle Tennessee State University show the four NE Tennessee MSAs with similar year-over-year improvements.

Morristown MSA – up 5.6% – $9,264,200.

Knoxville MSA – up 4.2% – $75,522,100.

Johnson City MSA – up 3.5% – $15,575,600.

Kingsport-Bristol – up 3.3% – $16,767,900.

Statewide, collections were up 6.7% – $716,723,000.

June’s increase brings collections in three-county Johnson City MSA and the four-county Kingsport-Bristol MSA almost to the September-January 2017 level. That’s when the year-over-year comparisons had a five-month non-volatile period.

So far, this year, the Johnson City MSA has seen three months when the monthly collections were better than the previous month while Kingsport-Bristol has had only one month-over-month improvement.

Morristown was the only area market where June’s collections were an improvement from May.

Morristown, up 1.4%.

Kingsport-Bristol, down 2.4%.

Johnson City MSA, down 2.5%.

Knoxville, down 3.3%.

Statewide collections were 2.2% lower than May.

The share of regional collections was unchanged in June. Johnson City has increased its share of total collections beyond its 48% norm four times in the past 22 months.

Retail sales on the national level were down from the second straight month in June. Economists labeled sales soft, but not calamitous.

Retail sales account for 40% of consumer spending and are a major local source of funding for city and county governments.




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