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The City Café

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Category Archives: Sales Tax

DOUG MACDONALD

The Tax Commission distributed $50.45 million in local 1% sales taxes today, up 5.8% from the same month last year.  The August distribution represents sales from June and includes second quarter returns from smaller accounts.
August Local 1%
The August distribution is also the final month for fiscal year 2015.  At $518 million statewide, fiscal year 2015’s 1% local sales tax distributions were up 5.3% compared to FY2014’s 4.0% increase. Our forecast in December 2013 called for a 3.7% gain.

June’s 5.8% gain was strong relative to the nationwide increase in retail trade sales of 1.8%.

The largest city in the state, Salt Lake City, saw its distribution rise 1.3% in August.  Since its population impact was -0.8% and the state’s overall gain was 5.8%, we compute its direct sales were down 1.7% in August.  Its three month average distribution was up 5.8% and its fiscal year-to-date gain was 5.6%.
August 15 Dist
17% distribution gains were recorded in South Jordan and Lehi in August.  Midvale (12%), Holladay (10.6%) and Centerville (12.7%) recorded gains in the low teens.

Surprisingly, Moab posted a near 9% distribution decrease from last year.

DOUG MACDONALD

We were unaware that July’s distribution included new population numbers from the Bureau of the Census to the Tax Commission.

Because these new numbers impact the “computed direct sales”, I revised July’s distribution report.
Revised July 15
In most cases, this doesn’t affect computed direct sales much, except for Holladay, South Jordan and Lehi, whose population changes were pretty big in 2015.  Holladay’s population increased 13.4% in 2015.  Subtracting the state’s population increase of 1.45% and then multiplying by 50% (due to the formula), its population impact will be an additional 6% each month in FY2016.

I am also including a spreadsheet with the new population numbers for July 2015 and the monthly impact on your distributions.

There probably should be another calculation backing out the hold-harmless cities, so these are approximate.

Nevertheless, I hope that this will be useful to you as you watch FY2016 distributions unfold.

July Dist 2015

DOUG MACDONALD

Following last month’s 8.6% increase, the Tax Commission’s July 2015 distribution for the 1% local sales tax at $38.98 million was up 0.3% compared to a year earlier.  This is consistent with what we talked about last month:

 …it is possible that extraordinary inclusions of May transactions bolstered the June distribution; this would cut into next month’s distribution.”

A better gauge for the recent trend is the sum of the distributions for the last three months. which has increased 4.4%.  In addition, total distributions for first 11 months of  fiscal year 2014-15 are up 5.2%.

Nationwide, retail sales rose 2.7% in May, while new light-vehicle sales were up 6%. Disposable incomes were up 3.5% in May compared to a year earlier.

July 2015 Dist

Distributions in Salt Lake County (up 1.2%) for July 2015 were mixed.  On the plus side, Holladay’s distribution rose 13%, followed by South Jordan’s 4.1% and Salt Lake City and Draper’s 3.6%.  Distributions in Midvale, West Valley and West Jordan were less than in July 2014.

Distributions in Davis County (up 2.3%) were a bit stronger.  Farmington’s 9.3% gain was followed by a 6.2% increase in Kaysville and a 4% gain in Layton.  Bountiful and Centerville posted lower distributions.

Lower distributions were also found in most of Utah and Weber counties.

Resort cities (Moab up 14.4%, and St. George up 5.7%) fared better than most cities along the Wasatch Front.

Check out ULCT Economist Doug Macdonald’s economic forecast for FY 2016FY 2016 Forecast

DOUG MACDONALD

The June distribution for the 1% local sales tax indicated that April taxable sales increased 8.6% compared to a year earlier.  The Tax Commission distributed $41.61 million for June’s 1% local sales tax compared to $38.32 million last June.

This distribution surprised us on the upside, because lately the growth in the two distributions after the big, quarter-end distribution (e.g., February and May) has been muted. But June is the distribution month when the Tax Commission “trues-up”  the hold-harmless cities to last-year’s distribution.  This June they added about $1.98 million, compared to $2.71 million last year.  This effectively bumped up the distributions to non-hold-harmless cities by about $720,000 (or 2%). This may have bumped up non-hold-harmless cities, but probably didn’t effect the overall 8.6% gain.  So, it is possible that extraordinary inclusions of May transactions bolstered the June distribution; this would cut into next month’s distribution.

June 15 Dist

Nationwide, real retail and food services sales increased 1.6% in April and 2.6% in May 2015.

In Utah, the 8.6% gain for June’s distribution brought up the 3-month average gain from 2% last month to 4.3%.  Fiscal year 2015 year-to-date growth statewide is now up to 5.7% (from 5.4% last month) based on the first 10 months.

In Salt Lake County, double-digit gains occurred in six of the nine cities we tally.  Holladay’s distribution rose 23.3% and Draper’s distribution was up 20.4% compared to a year earlier.  Salt Lake City’s distribution of $3.99 million was up 14.4%, bringing their year-to-date gain up to 6.3%.  The loss of several auto dealers to other cities flattened Sandy’s distribution.

In other counties, double-digit gains were the rule, either indicating very strong sales or the effect from the lower “true-up” to hold-harmless cities this year.

DOUG MACDONALDMay 2015 1%The 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.

May 2015 Dist

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%.

City Dist April 2015DOUG MACDONALD

April’s local 1% distribution came up on the Tax Commission website last week and at $35.98M was off 0.8% compared to a year earlier.  Even though the last two distributions were flat compared to last year, the 13.0% gain in February’s distribution pushed up the 3-month average to a 5.5% gain. For the fiscal year, the statewide distributions are up 5.6% compared to fiscal year 2014.

Nationwide, retailers sales were up 1.7% in February, with fairly strong auto sales.

Salt Lake City’s computed sales were up 10.1% in the April distribution, representing largely sales from February. Its distribution was up 4.7% for the month and up 5.8% for the fiscal year.  Sandy’s distribution was up 5.3%, implying a direct sales increase of 11.4% for February.  The distribution in Draper was up 16.4% in April, implying a 33.6% gain in sales.

In Davis County, Centerville’s distribution 7.6% gain led other cities. Layton and Farmington trailed Centerville with 3% gains.

In Weber County, Ogden and Roy’s distributions fell about 1%.

Lehi’s sales rose 17.6% in April, similar to Draper’s 16% gain, indicating strong growth is clustering there due to an influx of new businesses and homes.

Sales in St. George, Tooele and Moab rose between 5% and 8%.

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