Recent receipts reflect March consumer activity
t wasn’t the disaster some may have been expecting, but it’s premature to draw a conclusion, the county treasurer says.
A robust amount of use tax collections received by the county this month has boosted revenues for Platte County to a more respectable total for the year, though the county treasurer is noting a couple of caveats with that.
Year to date, the county’s combined sales and use tax receipts are six percent lower than at this time last year, says Rob Willard, Platte County Treasurer.
Sales and use tax receipts in Platte County in May reflect consumer activity in the month of March. For about one-fourth of the month of March, the county was under a stay at home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The latest totals “do not reflect the entire time of the stay at home period,” Willard noted.
The stay at home was in place from March 24 until May 4 in Platte County.
The May sales tax receipts were down 2.21 percent compared to the month of May 2019. But the use tax collections grew by more than 100 percent in May compared to May of 2019.
“This is the largest tax spasm I’ve seen in seven years, which speaks to reporting issues in Jefferson City,” Willard said, noting that the tax payments to the county come from the state director of revenue office in Jefferson City. “The staff at the DOR has been in the same boat as the rest of us.”
After four months of receipts, the county had been running 11 percent behind last year’s total, so the robust May collection nearly cut the updated year-to-date drop in half.
The county has received $3,702,287 in general sales tax revenue thus far in 2020, down 3.37 percent compared to this time last year.
The county has received $1,944,932 in use tax revenue thus far in 2020, down 10.63 percent compared to last year at this time.
The half cent parks/stormwater tax and the 3/8th cent road sales tax collections thus far are running 2.32 behind last year’s totals for each. These dedicated sales taxes are not applied to certain purchases, thus the variation in percentage difference of collection totals.
“As this is a time unlike anything we’ve seen before with the economy, it’s unlikely we can glean much from one month’s report,” Willard remarked. “The ‘let’s wait and see six months of numbers’ adage I once heard and have followed may not be applicable this year.”
Willard said “like everything else going on right now, it’s premature to draw a conclusion. The British didn’t declare victory over Germany after Dunkirk.”