The numbers appear almost contradictory.
Two Wise County cities – Bridgeport and New Fairview – are short of last year’s sales tax numbers by a combined $157,590.
But the county’s 10 other sales-tax-collecting cities are up by a combined $136,744 – ranging from $23 in Lake Bridgeport to more than $60,000 in Newark.
Altogether, Wise County’s dozen cities are $20,846 below last year through eight months of 2014.
But the county, which collects a half-cent tax on sales within its boundaries, is $159,104 ahead for 2014 over 2013.
For the calendar year, the city of Bridgeport is down $134,953 compared to last year. The city of New Fairview is off $22,637.
Every other Wise County city is up for the year.
Percentage-wise, the biggest gainer is Newark with an 88.7 percent jump. But Aurora is up 27.2 percent and Chico and Alvord are both up more than 16 percent. Runaway Bay is up almost 15 percent, and Paradise is up 5.4 percent.
Boyd’s increase is modest at 2.78 percent, while Rhome is up nearly 1.5 percent, and Decatur and Lake Bridgeport both have increases of less than a half-percent.
It’s hard to make sense of those kinds of numbers, other than to say that the economic recovery continues in most places – but gets a little spotty in Wise County.
State Comptroller Susan Combs said this week state sales tax revenue in July totaled $2.34 billion – up 6.3 percent compared to July 2013.
She attributed the growth to strength in both business and consumer spending.
“The increase was led by remittances from the construction, services and oil and natural gas-related sectors, as well as from retail trade and restaurants,” she said. “Fiscal year-to-date, state sales tax collections are now up 5.3 percent.”
The August sales tax figures represent monthly sales made in July as well as April, May and June sales by businesses that report tax quarterly.