City sales tax receipts continue to show huge monthly increases

ABERDEEN, S.D. (By Elisa Sand – With two months of revenue yet to be reported in 2020, Aberdeen continues to mark new sales tax milestones.

As of the newly released October sales tax report, Aberdeen sales tax receipts were $3 million ahead of 2019. That report showed a 19.96% increase compared to October 2019, a difference of about $320,000. A nearly identical increase was reported in September. Aberdeen had a 21.23% increase in sales tax receipts compared to September 2019, an increase of nearly $350,000.

The total sales tax collection in the September report was $1.99 million. The October report lists collections of $1.93 million.

The double-digit percent increases in sales tax first appeared on the April report and have continued each month, with July’s report showing the largest increase of 49%.

In a year when city leaders were unsure where sales tax receipts would land and held off on capital purchases and projects in anticipation of a decrease because of the COVID-19 pandemic, City Manager Joe Gaa said the city hasn’t moved forward on purchases just yet.

Gaa said he expects that discussion to happen in December or January along with discussion about where to apply budget savings that have been realized as a result of CARES Act funding from the federal government stimulus package.

City officials have previously pointed to increases in sales tax from manufacturing as one reason for the continued increases. While that has eased in recent months, it’s still more than double sales reported in 2019. For example, taxable sales in manufacturing were $4.2 million in the September 2019 report and $4 million in the October 2019 report. In comparison, this September’s report showed $19.5 million in taxable sales. The total was nearly $10.6 million in October’s report.

Taxable sales are also up in other construction and retail trade.

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