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May 09

Sales Tax Distribution Report & Advice

Posted on May 9, 2016 at 10:20 AM by Paige Worsham


May 2016
March 2016 Collections -- May 2016 Distributions

This month’s distribution showed some improvement over the previous month. Collections from March were up 4.8% from February, for a total distribution of $214,095,481. On a gross level, state and local governments absorbed $71.03 million in refunds.

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As mentioned previously, while sales tax growth is expected to continue to be positive, we do not expect growth to be as strong as we have experienced the last two years. The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta just released their “GDPNow” model results, which offer a window into our economic outlook in advance of a full GDP (Gross Domestic Product) estimate. That GDPNow forecast for real GDP growth, seasonally adjusted to an annual rate, is 1.8% growth for the second quarter of 2016. The graph below provides a good view of the range of projections from other private and public sector forecasters.

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One unexpected positive note on the forecast relates to the recent sales tax base expansion. During the 2015 session of the NC General Assembly, legislators expanded the sales tax base to include more services. Based on initial interpretations of the law change by the Department of Revenue, some economists think the counties may actually see more growth as a result of these changes than originally expected.


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