Shoppers still buying locally

If the pandemic has a bright spot it is that shoppers are staying closer to home and buying from local merchants. December sales tax collections, which reflect sales from mid-October to mid-November, indicate that shoppers continue to buy locally.  

For the first six months of the fiscal year which began July 1, all towns except for Jay, continue to see a boost in sales taxes. 

Grove saw a 13% increase in December collections following a 24% increase in November. For the first six months of the year that has meant an 18% increase over the same six months last year. The city has received $4.298 million in sales tax revenue from July to December compared to $3.642 million for the same six months last year.  

In addition, shoppers are also providing an increase in use taxes by shopping online. Grove had a 17% increase in use taxes for the December reporting period and collections for the first six months of the fiscal year are up 31% overall bringing in $349,344 compared to $266,809 for last fiscal year.  

At the same time, Delaware County is showing similar increases. The county’s sales tax collections were 11% higher in December than last December. For the first six months of the fiscal year, sales tax collections are up 17% with the county receiving $3.33 million compared to $2.847 million for the same period last year. The county also had an increase in use tax collections, taxes charged on purchases bought out-of-state, but used in the city or county, of 60% for the year. The county has collected $516,324 compared to $323,031 for the same six-month period. 

Of course, the town of Jay has been impacted by the closing of Wal-Mart in late summer. For December, sales taxes decreased 17% following a 31% decrease in collections for November. However, tax revenues for the early part of the fiscal year have resulted in collections for the first six months of the fiscal year remaining nearly the same compared to last fiscal year. The town has collected $578,622 during the six months compared to $579,463 for the same period last year. At the same time use taxes are up significantly with the town collecting $78,478 for the first six months of the year compared to $51,284 for the same period last year.  

In Fairland, sales tax revenues are up as well. Sales tax collections for the first six months are up 26% to $139,030 compared to $110,021 for last year. Use taxes are up 42% to $31,741 compared to $22,351 for the first six months of last year. 

Bernice recorded an increase of 21% in sales tax collections with $154,403 compared to $127,111 last year. Use taxes are up 62% for the same period with the town collecting $18,417 compared to $11,374. 

Afton’s sales taxes climbed to $215,114 compared to $188,267 for the six-month period and use taxes are up 56% with collections of $47,199 compared to $30,307. 

The town of Wyandotte had a 27% increase in sales tax collections for the fiscal year of $62,494 compared to $49,190. Use taxes also climbed by 65% with collections of $21,317 compared to $12,943. 

For Ottawa County, the news is also good. The county has collected $1.893 million in sales taxes compared to $1.762 million for the comparable six months. Use taxes are up 44% with the county collecting $303,267 compared to $210,913 for the same period last year. 

In Kansas, sales taxes are up 31% for the first six months with collections of $260,440 and use taxes are up 108% with collections of $46,040 compared to $21,691 for the last fiscal year. At the same time, Colcord has a 12% increase in sales taxes collecting $82,203 and use taxes are up 30% to $25,237 during the fiscal year.  

On the west side of Grand Lake where the Pensacola Bridge remains closed, Disney has had a 73% increase in sales tax collections for the first six months with collections of $84,112 compared to $48,542 for the same period last fiscal year. Use taxes are up 108% with the town collecting $11,678 compared to $5,604 last year. 

Langley also has shown major increases. Sales tax collections for the first six months are $626,102 compared to $505,512 and use tax collections are up 48% to $16,523 compared to $11,177 for the same period last year.