Cities and towns in Utah receive a 1% sales tax that is distributed by the state using a formula based 50% on population and 50% on point-of-sale. The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget puts forth population estimates each year that affect the distribution of of this tax, and ULCT economist Doug Macdonald has put together his estimate on how each municipality will be affected by changes in population in both PDF and EXCEL formats. Contact Doug at email@example.com with any questions.
The September distribution came out a few weeks ago showing that the 1% local sales tax grew 4.4% from a year earlier at $40.35 million. The growth rate for the last three months is up 3.3%. Prospects for 4% growth should continue for the rest of the calendar year despite a recent downturn in new home building. Employment growth between 3% and 4% appears imminent and the average wage is gaining ground. Across the U.S., retail sales made a solid 5% gain in August.
Salt Lake City, the largest city in the state, recorded a 3.8% gain in the September distribution, representing sales mostly in July. Similarly, Murray and West Jordan saw 3% gains. The distributions in Draper and South Jordan of near 11% suggest that their direct sales may have increased 18.5% and 16.9%, respectively.
Ogden’s and Provo’s distribution were up 6.2% and 5.7%, respectively. Meanwhile the near 12% gain in Lehi reflects the fact that direct sales must have increased almost 19%.
Excepting Farmington where the distribution increased 15%, distributions across Davis County increased from 2.5% (Bountiful) to 5.5% (Clearfield).
Park City’s distribution increased 17% and St. George’s increased 5.1% in September.
The Tax Commission sent out the July distribution a bit early on the 18th while I was on vacation. The July distribution (representing May sales) of the 1% local sales tax was up 2.4% statewide at $38.85 million. Over the past three months the distributions have been up 4.8% over the prior year. Fiscal year-to-date the local sales tax is up 4.1% and has improved from 3.8% in April; this is getting closer to our December 2013 forecast of 4.5% (CLICK HERE)
In May, U.S. retail sales were up 4.2%, led by an 8.4% increase in light car and truck unit sales. The CPI was up 2.1%, edging up from 1.5% levels three months ago. The leading indicators for May were up 5.9%, suggesting continued expansion for the next six months.
Salt Lake City, the largest city in the state, saw its distribution up only 0.3. This suggests that its direct sales were down 1.8% in May. Sales in other major cities in Salt Lake County fared better: West Valley’s distribution was up 5.3%, Sandy, Murray and West Jordan’s were up close to 3% in July. Draper’s 17.3% percent gain implies they had a 32% sales increase in May.
In Utah County, Lehi’s distribution was up 5.8%, suggesting a sales increase of 9.2%. Orem’s distribution was up 4.3%, while Provo’s was off 2.2%, indicating a near 7% drop in sales.
Farmington once again led Davis County cities with a 12.7% distribution increase. Centerville and Layton, fared well with 6.8% and 5.4% respective gains.
St. George’s 6.1% distribution increase implied a near 10% increase in direct sales.