Special disbursement helps push Platte County's 2017 tax revenues up

Platte County received some positive news this month about sales tax revenue.

While numbers dipped under a new reporting system in September and October, the rebound came in December due to a supplemental transfer from the Missouri Department of Revenue. The extra funds pushed the numbers for the general sales tax up 28.32 percent over December of 2016 with the use tax up 32.60 percent in the same year-over-year comparison.

 Rob Willard

Rob Willard

According to a report from Platte County treasurer Rob Willard, Platte County’s total sales tax in 2017 was up about $500,000 from 2016, while the use tax experienced a more modest 1.65 percent increase. The total increase combined was 4.60 percent with a the total up more than $1 million for the same numbers in 2013.

Transition to the new reporting system led to the down numbers in September and October, and the supplemental distribution corrected the issue, according to Willard.

“As we have worked through these challenges, we have experienced some delay in our distributions to cities, counties and districts,” the department of revenue said in a memo. “To remedy this, the Department is taking extraordinary action by making this supplemental distribution of local sales and use taxes that had been collected through November 30, 2017 but not distributed, as would be our normal practice, during the regularly scheduled distribution in early December.”

Willard’s office plans to sift through the report to try and pinpoint specific distributions that were withheld after September and October general sales tax numbers were down more than 6 percent from the 2016 figures.

Willard cautioned against overreaction on monthly reports, especially after this recent correction.

“All of that, however, doesn’t change the bottom line: collections are up,” Willard said. “The caveat is that all of these reports are based on collections and when they are reported.  That opens the door to all sorts of issues related to numbers being impacted by when businesses file their returns, or as was the case last year in August, when an extraordinary amount of returns from previous years were amended and the numbers fell over 16 percent.

 “Month to month will have fluctuations that may not make sense and the six-month marker in June is the best predictor for what the year will look like.”