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2021 Q1 sales tax data shows increase in revenue in central Virginia

Published: Jun. 6, 2021 at 9:04 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Quarter One 2021 data is showing that all throughout central Virginia sales tax revenue is increasing, showing a slight return to normalcy.

“Green County had the biggest bump in the first quarter of 2021,” President of the Free Enterprise Forum Neil Williamson said.

He says, while all localities in our area had increases in sales tax revenue, compared to Q1 of 2020, Greene County led the way with a 24% increase.

“I think that’s attributable to additional commercial activities that are there,” he said. “You’re seeing increased number of commercial entities and in addition of rather robust economic development, operation, and increase in number of residential units.”

Williamson says residential growth and sales tax revenue go hand-in-hand.

“You’re looking at folks that are still staying at home when they’re working from home and so they’re shopping where they are, they’re not going to lunch on the downtown mall because they are shopping where they are,” he said.

Williamson says all areas had healthy growth, but Waynesboro, Staunton, Augusta, and Greene all saw over a 17% increase in sales tax revenue.

“There are significant populations there, and they are generating significant sales, and rather than having those sales leak into the other localities, they’re retaining those sales and retaining that sales tax revenue,” he said.

Stimulus checks also play an important role in the data.

“I know someone bought a refrigerator, while they needed to get a refrigerator anyway, but all of a sudden this check came in the mail, or grants for direct deposit, and it accelerated that purchase and put it into the first quarter of 2021,” Williamson said.

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