JDA reports strong year-to-date sales tax revenues for Rugby
Although closing certain businesses last spring due to a global pandemic impacted the retail sector in rural towns such as Rugby, sales tax receipts for 2020 remain strong, according to the Rugby Job Development Authority.
The Rugby JDA released a report in mid-August showing the JDA’s percentage of sales tax revenues to date at a robust $173,628.71.
The JDA receives 35 percent of the two percent sales tax collected for Rugby. The remainder of the city’s sales tax revenues pay for infrastructure.
The revenues almost reach levels seen in 2014 and 2015, when the Rugby JDA’s August year-to-date sales tax receipts rose to more than $175,000.
Rugby JDA Director Liz Heisey partially attributed the strong numbers to a successful Crazy Days event for Rugby businesses.
“That helped but (there was a) definite impact from online sales tax,” Heisey said.
Heisey said the revenues “are the third-highest amount since we started collecting sales tax.” Heisey noted the increase represented about 11 percent over the revenues collected for the JDA this time last year. She also said the increase reflects an increase in total sales tax revenues for the city of Rugby.
North Dakota regulators began putting measures in place in mid-2018 to collect taxes from online sales. Heisey said Rugby began receiving sales tax revenues from online sales in August of last year.
Heisey said the year started strong for local tax revenues before the COVID-19 pandemic. After a sharp decline, the sales tax revenues “seem to be rebounding quickly,” she noted.
“Online sales tax is huge,” Heisey said, explaining the rebound. “Also, our Shop Smart, Shop Local program is another reason for that.”
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