Twelve cities in Wise County collect a sales tax on purchases inside their boundaries. Those taxes are remitted by local merchants to the state – monthly, quarterly or annually – and once a month the state sends the city its share.
What the cities get back is seen as a fairly accurate measure of how the local economy is doing.
For January, not great.
Six cities showed a gain compared to the same month last year, and six showed a loss.
But those that lost, lost a total of $92,400, while the gainers gained just $25,548.
The net result is that sales tax collections for Wise County cities in January were down 9.3 percent compared to last year.
Alvord, Boyd, Decatur, Lake Bridgeport, Paradise and Runaway Bay were up – Lake Bridgeport and Paradise both more than doubling their last year’s totals. Boyd and Runaway Bay also had gains in the teens, and Decatur was up nearly 5 percent.
Chico was down just 6.6 percent, but Newark, Aurora, Bridgeport, New Fairview and Rhome were all down by double digits to start the year.
Altogether, the cities brought in $652,477 in sales taxes in January. Last year’s total was $719,330.
Wise County, which collects a half-cent sales tax, slipped by nearly 18 percent compared to last year – a deficit of $68,830.
Statewide, things continued to be rosy as 1,145 cities took in more than $375 million and beat last January’s total by 7.4 percent.
Comptroller Susan Combs said altogether, cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts saw their January local sales tax allocations rise by 8.1 percent compared to January 2013.
The sales tax figures represent November sales reported by monthly tax filers.