Johnson City metro area see soft March, Q1 sales tax collection growth; Kingsport-Bristol can’t sustain last year’s performance


March was another soft month for sales tax collections in the Johnson City metro area and the third straight month of negative year-over-year performance in the Kingsport-Bristol area.

Seasonally adjusted year-over-year totals from the MTSU’ s Department of Economics and Finance show the four-county Kingsport-Kingsport Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had the only negative performance among the state’s 10 metro area. Collections in the three-county Johnson City MSA were better than last year but just barely. It had the second-worst year-over-year showing in the state.

Morristown was the only MSA in NE Tennessee with a better March year-over-year rate than the state’s 5.8% growth. Morristown also had the best Q1 year-over-year collections growth followed by the Knoxville MSA then Johnson City. Kingsport-Bristol’s Q1 growth was 4.9% less than what it was last year.

This year’s Q1 market share for the Tri-Cities metro areas was the weakest it has been in nine years. Since 2011 Johnson City’s market share has declined from 14% to 12.9% this year.

Kingsport-Bristol’s strong collections last year was a new benchmark for that area but declined from 18.8% during the first three months of last year to 13.9% this year.

Like Johnson City, Knoxville’s Q1 market share this year was the lowest it has been since 2011 decreasing from 14.6% of the region to 13.9% this year.

Morristown had had an 8% market share this year, which is that metro area’s best performance since 2011.

March’s collections in Kingsport-Bristol were $17.2 million and $15.6 million in the Johnson City MSA. So far this year’s Kingsport-Bristol’s seasonally adjusted collections total $50.6 million and $46.8 million in the Johnson City metro area.

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