The Johnson City metro area had the third-best year-over-year sales tax collections in Tennessee in June while Kingsport-Bristol’s month-over-month collections were the best in the state. June was a good month for Tri-Cities collections, but it didn’t do much to improve the year-to-date performance when compared to the Knoxville Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and the Morristown MSA. So far this year, Morristown has the strongest year-growth rate in NE Tenn. based on an analysis of seasonally adjusted collections reported by Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU).
Here’s how June’s year-over-year collections looked in NE Tenn.:
Johnson City, up 7.4%
Morristown, up 6%
Knoxville, up 5%
Kingsport-Bristol, up 4%.
Statewide collections were up 6.4%.
Johnson City’s collections trailed Cleveland (9.7%), Chattanooga (9.6%) and Clarksville (8.4%)
Kingsport-Bristol, up 8.3%.
Morristown, up 4.2%
Knoxville, up 1.6%
Johnson City, up 0.6%
Statewide collections were down 0.4% from May.
Both Tri-Cities metro areas began the year with collections that lagged Jan. 2018 collections. It was a slow first quarter for the Johnson City MSA, but the last two months of Q2 posted big improvement.
Collections in Kingsport-Bristol haven’t been as good. Year-over-year collections were negative every month in the first quarter, and February’s 12% decline held back Q2 gains. Compared to the first six months of last year, Kingsport-Bristol is down a full point. The big picture is Tri-Cities sales tax collections – like other economic components of the region – are in a slow-growth pattern. And while collections are increasing the growth rate is slowing.
So far this year, collections total $97.4 million in Johnson City and $102.9 million in Kingsport-Bristol. Knoxville’s year-to-date total is $485.1 million, and Morristown has collected $58.3 million.
The market share metric shows Johnson City collections have exceeded the three-county area’s 2018 annual market share for the past three months. It’s the only metro area in NE Tenn. that can make that claim.
Kingsport-Bristol has managed to equal its 2018 market share one month – April.
U.S. consumer spending moderated in June but was still strong. That’s a sign that high consumer confidence and low unemployment are still driving economic growth – at least through the second quarter. Consumer spending accounts for about two-thirds of the U.S. activity.