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Sales tax revenue rising in Northampton

JACKSON – Despite concerns that the COVID-19 pandemic would negatively affect the local economy, sales tax revenue in Northampton County is on the rise.

Northampton County Finance Director Tameka Green shared the numbers from the first six months of 2020 at the Board of Commissioners meeting here on Oct. 19. Sales tax revenue is generated when people purchase goods locally within the county.

In January, the county received $180,943.78 in sales tax revenue. There was an approximately $8,000 dip in revenues for both February and March, but then in April, the total revenue soared over $200,000 and stayed that way.

The county received $210,160.44 in sales tax revenue in April; $226,477.47 in May; and $264,934.43 in June.

“We consistently brought in more sales tax in April, May, and June,” Green concluded.

The commissioners were pleased with the high numbers.

“You see what we’re doing with sales tax. I see growth,” said Board Chair Charles Tyner, who then suggested that businesses such as the Food Fresh grocery store and new Ace Hardware in Jackson helped contribute to the increase in revenue.

“Let’s continue to shop in Northampton County. Let’s continue to buy everything that we need from Northampton County,” he continued. “You have no reason now to go across the [Roanoke River] bridge.”

“This is wonderful and I’m excited,” remarked Commissioner Joyce Buffaloe.

Commissioner Kelvin Edwards noted that shopping local not only helps the economy but also cuts down on travel time when you need to buy something.

County Manager Charles Jackson acknowledged that higher sales tax revenue makes it easier for the county to afford to lower property taxes.

“Businesses that are generating this sales tax will be in a better position to hire employees, so it’s definitely a trickle-down effect to help everyone in the long run,” added Commissioner Geneva Faulkner.

Commissioner Nicole Boone echoed the same sentiments, describing the revenue numbers as a “win-win” for everyone.