June 9, 2015 Local option sales tax distribution back up to normal for May
DOUG MACDONALDThe Tax Commission distributed $48.98 million in the last week of May, the second highest distribution in the past nine years. The May distribution represents March taxable retail sales, services and business purchases, but also includes returns from first quarter filers. The $48.98 million was a welcome 4.4% increase from last May’s $46.92 million. The last two months’ percentage change was only 1.7% and -0.8%. We are now hearing that the prior two months included large refund amounts that may continue to affect sales in the coming months.
In the coming months, expect continued gains of 4% to 6%, due to continuing job growth, high consumer sentiment, lower gas prices and expanding new home building. Any further large refunds may mute those gains, however. It also appears that the third month of the quarter has been seasonally stronger than the first two months, at least for the past three quarters.
In Salt Lake County, South Jordan, Draper, West Valley and the two Jordans saw gains greater than 5%. Salt Lake City saw a 3.5% increase, but is still up 5.5% fiscal year-to-date (last nine months).
In Utah County, Lehi’s sales increased 25.5% and its distribution rose almost 15%. Orem’s distribution was up 5.5%, but Provo was flat compared to a year earlier.
Most of Davis County’s large cities did at least as well as the state average. Bountiful’s distribution was up almost 9% and Layton’s was up 5.6%. Farmington’s sales were up 21% and its distribution was up almost 13%.
Ogden and Roy distributions were up close to the state average.
The resort cities of Moab and Park City both saw sales gains approaching 20%.