February 27, 2015 Local Option Sales Tax Distribution up 13%
The Tax Commission distributed $55.79 million to cities and counties for the 1% local sales tax in February 2015, a 13.0% increase over last February’s $49.38 million (Figure 1). These monies are primarily from sales in December 2014, but also include monies from fourth quarter and calendar year returns. The 13% gain in the February distribution pushes up the year-to-date gain for the first half of FY2014-15 to 7.1%.
In contrast, nationwide retailers’ sales rose 4.3% in December 2014 to $455.7 billion, according to the U.S. Bureau of the Census through FRB St. Louis (Figure 2).
Our models estimated a baseline forecast for CY2015 taxable sales at 6.8% growth (made last October). Our pessimistic scenario indicated 2.7% growth for CY2015.
Five out of the eight largest cities in Salt Lake County distributions rose in double-digits, including Salt Lake City (14.1%), West Valley (16.6%), Midvale (15%), Draper (24.2%) and South Jordan (17.5%). Draper’s distribution reached $1 million for the first time.
All of the large cities we survey in Utah and Weber counties’ distributions rose more than 12%. Lehi reached the million dollar mark too for the first time.
In Davis county, Layton’s distribution rose 12.2% and Farmington’s rose almost 21%.
Park City’s distribution rose almost 25%, suggesting sales rose nearly 37%.
Figure 1. Select 1% Sales Tax Distributions
Figure 2. U.S. Retail Sales (Federal Reserve Bank, St. Louis)
Figure 3. Utah 1% Sales Tax Distributions