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East Texas cities note increase in sales tax income

By Mike Elswick
April 11, 2012 at 10 p.m.

Sales tax revenue for the majority of East Texas cities was up based on tax collections made in February, the state reported Wednesday.

Unfortunately, Longview was among the few cities posting declines this month compared to a year ago.

The city's monthly sales tax revenue was down 1 percent for the month with revenues of $2.191 million.

That was down by about $23,000 from a year ago when revenues were $2.214 million, according to the Texas Comptroller's Office. For the first seven months of the city's fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, sales tax revenues are up about 1.17 percent, according to Misty Frazier, budget accountant for Longview.

Gregg County's sales tax revenues were up 7 percent for the month compared to a year ago, while Kilgore's figure was up 14 percent and White Oak was up 69 percent.

Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt said he feels the energy industry in the county continues to buoy sales tax revenues for the county as do other businesses outside city limits.

"You have car dealerships that are outside the city limits, like Peters Chevrolet, and the oil and gas service industries that are still doing well - and those have a lot to do with it," Stoudt said. He also said there is a lot of home construction going on in the county.

"That continues to flourish with interest rates at all-time lows," Stoudt said.

Elsewhere in East Texas, several cities posted double- digit increases in sales tax revenue for the month. Those included Daingerfield, Hallsville, Henderson, Lone Star, Tatum and Tyler.

Across the state, sales tax revenue to cities was up 15.1 percent compared to April 2011, according to Texas Comptroller Susan Combs.

"The latest sales tax revenue numbers mark a continuation of recent trends we have seen in sales tax receipts," Combs said. "Strong collections continued in oil and gas-related sectors, while growth in revenue from the retail sector and restaurants also accelerated."



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