September 26, 2017

Sales tax receipts highest since pre-recession

The Town of Williston’s sales tax receipts for the second quarter of 2017 were the highest of any quarter since before the 2008 recession.

The town charges a 1 percent tax on purchases made in Williston and uses the funds to offset the burden on property taxpayers.

The tax produced roughly $735,000 from April through June this year. That is about $70,000 more than the same period in 2016 and more akin to the receipts collected in the last quarter, during holiday shopping season.

Town Finance Director Jennifer Kennelly said the bump could mark a new normal or just a catch up from a business or businesses that were in arrears.

The State of Vermont collects the 1 percent tax on behalf of the town, then disperses it after the quarter. Kennelly checked in with the state tax department but said officials there couldn’t pinpoint a particular reason for the bump.

“We’ll keep an eye on it,” she said.

Town officials will have to see another few quarters of higher-than-expected sales tax receipts before upping the amount they budget for annually, Kennelly said.

— Jason Starr

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