UPPER CUMBERLAND – State sales tax collections took an early year hit in the Upper Cumberland. February’s report showed a 2.9-percent year-over-year decrease, dampening a strong holiday shopping season that saw a nearly double-digit improvement.
Nine counties saw decreases for the month, including Putnam and Cumberland, the region’s two largest collectors. State sales tax collections were down 6.0 and 1.5 percent in those counties, respectively. Decreases were also reported in Van Buren (-30.6), Pickett (-19.0), DeKalb (-8.9), Smith (-7.5), Cumberland (-1.5), Jackson (-1.5) and Fentress (-1.1).
Two counties, Overton and White, were bright spots in February. Collections there were up 6.3 and 11.9 percent, the largest gains for the month. Collections also improved in Cannon (4.0), Clay (6.1) and Macon (0.5).
Statewide, collections were up slightly, 3.6 percent. Despite the poor report, the Upper Cumberland is still keeping pace with the rest of Tennessee. Quarterly, the UC is up 7.2 percent, versus the state’s 7.4. Annual numbers are also close, 6.5 percent for the region, versus 6.6 for Tennessee.
Collections, considered just one measure of economic activity, are based on state sales taxes; local option taxes are excluded. Data lags by one month; for example, February numbers reflect January activity.
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Source: Compiled by the Upper Cumberland Development District from data published by the Tennessee Department of Revenue.