Sales tax collections still showing strength

Montgomery County sales tax revenues — based on purchases made at Montgomery County businesses in March 2012 and disbursed by the Ohio Department of Taxation in June — rose $339,000 from a year earlier, to $6.3 million, a 5.7 percent increase. For the first six months of 2012 combined, sales tax collections are up 6.5 percent in Montgomery County compared to the first six months of 2011, to $34.6 million.

Greene County sales tax revenues grew $36,000 to nearly $2 million, a 1.9 percent increase from the previous year, while Warren County’s collections jumped 9.9 percent to $2.6 million. Butler County’s sales tax revenues dropped for the first time since September 2011, by 0.6 percent to less than $2.9 million.

Sales tax collections are considered a barometer of the health of the retail sector, which in turn accounts for about two-thirds of the U.S. economy. And Montgomery County officials have said sales taxes are an important part of the county’s budget, although they also say the rebound of sales tax revenues does not make up for a drop in property-tax collections or for state cuts to the Local Government Fund and other state funding.

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