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Longview sales tax revenue jumps 8 percent from a year ago

By Mike Elswick melswick@news-journal.com
Oct. 12, 2011 at 11 p.m.

Sales tax revenues going into Longview's city coffers got the new fiscal year off to an upbeat start this week with the city posting nearly an 8 percent jump compared to a year ago.

Longview's share of sales tax revenue collected in August, reported to the state in September with the city's portion disbursed in October, is $2.381 million, up 7.97 percent from the $2.205 million the city received a year ago.

The sales tax revenue figure represents the first month of the city's new fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.

"It is encouraging to start a new fiscal year on a positive note with an increase in sales tax collections," said city spokesman Shawn Hara. "It's also good news that the sales tax collections for this month exceed the original forecasts within the budget."

Hara said the city conservatively budgeted a 2 percent increase in sales tax collections for the year.

"So, this is more than 5 percent better than that budget forecast for the month," Hara said. "Obviously, this is only the first month of the budget year, so we will continue to monitor to see how the remainder of the year goes."

Elsewhere in Gregg County, Kilgore posted an 8.6 percent increase in monthly sales tax revenue from October 2010; Gladewater was up 20.7 percent; White Oak was up 24 percent; and Lakeport's sales tax revenue for the month was down 49.5 percent.

Hara said the overall positive figures for Longview and most other county cities offer a positive indicator for the overall economy.

"In a general sense, the increase is a good sign of the continued progress being made throughout the community for several months now," Hara said. "Hopefully, the Longview economy will continue to do well compared to the state and nation."

Comptroller Susan Combs said the state distributed $336.6 million to cities across the state as their share of sales tax revenues for the month. She said that state sales tax revenue for the month was $1.76 billion, up 11.8 percent compared to a year ago.

"Texas sales tax collections have now increased for 18 straight months," Combs said. All sectors showed increases - especially in the oil and gas-related sectors.

Consumer sectors like restaurants and retail trade were also up.

"The recovery in Texas has brought sales tax collections almost back to peak 2008 levels, however the near-term outlook remains clouded due to the uneven performance of the U.S. economy," Combs said in a prepared statement.



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