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Local sales tax revenue increase driven by online purchases

State sales tax revenues dramatically increased in Gloucester and Mathews over the first six months of 2021, but the increase in sales reflected by the larger tax revenues doesn’t represent a sales boom for local merchants. Rather, the primary beneficiaries were internet merchants.

First- and second-quarter sales tax revenues in Gloucester and Mathews far outpaced the growth seen in the first two quarters of any other year over the past decade.

According to Virginia taxable sales tables posted online by the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia, Gloucester saw sales tax collections of $119.31 million in the first quarter of this year, covering the period from February to May, and $139.78 million in the second quarter, from May to August.

Those numbers reflect a 13.66 percent increase over last year’s first-quarter revenues of $104.97 million and a 16.07 percent increase over second-quarter revenues of $120.42 million.

While Mathews typically...

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