Sales tax proceeds from the state varied widely in percentage increases and declines in October in Northeast Texas cities compared with 2018, state Comptroller of Public Accounts Glenn Hegar reported recently.
They varied from a 28.3% gain in Gilmer — to $181,990 from $141,842 in October 2018 — to a 20.11% decline in White Oak, where disbursements from the state dropped from $107,284 to $85,699. Other jurisdictions saw modest increases and declines.
Hegar reported that he would send cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts $773.1 million in local sales tax allocations for October, 5.1% higher than in October 2018. The allocations are based on sales made in August by businesses that report taxes monthly.
Gilmer City Manager Greg Hutson said the October allocation is the highest percentage increase in the three years he has been on the job. He said he thinks it coincides with an increase in consumer spending nationally.
Hutson cited businesses that have opened over the past year, including Dollar General, Chicken Express, Subway and Gilmer Brewing Co., which will mark its first anniversary in December.
“This might be the new normal that our sales tax (allocation) is higher than what it has been,” Hutson said. “I think we will end the calendar year on a very high note.”
Longview posted a modest increase of 4.06%, with proceeds climbing to $2.68 million from about $2.58 million.
“An increase in collected sales tax revenues of more than 4% is a great way to begin the 2019-2020 fiscal year,” Longview multimedia specialist Richard Yeakley said in an email. He was referring to the new fiscal year that started Oct. 1.
“As we enter the holiday shopping season, it’s important for residents to remember that shopping local helps area businesses, strengthens the regional economy and increases tax revenue for our community,” Yeakley said.
Kilgore’s allocation for October is closer to what the city received in October 2014 than October 2018, City Manager Josh Selleck told the Kilgore News Herald, a sister paper of the News-Journal. Kilgore’s allocation fell 14.55% percent, from $1.02 million to $873,099.
“Last year was one of those months where it was up so high that we knew immediately there had to be a one-time funds in it,” Selleck said. “That’s not a month we should be comparing ourselves to.”
He said the $873,099 is “more in line with what we should be expecting.”