July 28, 2014 Local Option Sales Tax Distribution up 2.4% Statewide
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.