Several area cities saw their sales tax disbursements drop in July while some experienced gains, according to a report Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Glenn Hegar released recently.
Longview saw its sales tax disbursements fall by 4.15% to $2.67 million from about $2.79 million a year ago while Gilmer’s collections fell by 9.81% to $146,271 from $162,189 in July 2018, according to Hegar.
Lakeport was a big winner, with its collections increasing by 23.79% from $17,522 to $21,692.
Hegar reported he would send cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts $764.3 million in local sales tax allocations this month, up 0.7% from a year ago. The allocations are based on sales made in May by businesses that report taxes monthly.
City officials in Longview and Gilmer had no explanation on why sales tax disbursements, which had been on the upswing, declined in July, but they did not express any grave concerns.
“Unfortunately, all taxes fluctuate,” Longview city spokesman Shawn Hara said. However, he said, “Overall, we’ve had a really positive year. We budget on looking on overall (revenue) trends.”
Gilmer City Manager Greg Hutson said his city remains about 4.87% percent higher than a year ago so far this year.
“At times, we do not follow the national trend,” Hutson said. “I don’t have any concerns over whether or not this is going to be a continuing trend.”
Hutson continued, “I’ll leave it to the economists to crunch those numbers, and I’ll just read what their conclusions are, and we will make our decisions accordingly.”
Overton Mayor C.R. Evans said he has not seen the numbers, let alone crunched them.
However, he indicated he was pleased upon learning collections increased by 2.6%, from $27,844 to $28,570.
“It went up over last year,” Evans said. “It’s good. It’s at a time where we are setting our budget for the next year. We hope that our sales tax will continue to go up.”
Evans said his main concern is having successful businesses in Overton.
Other jurisdictions that came out ahead included Gladewater at 1.69%, Kilgore at 1.93%, Henderson at 6.43%, Hallsville at 9.06% and Tatum at 7.96%
Gregg County saw its collections drop by 2.06% from transactions outside its cities, declining from about $1.35 million a year ago to $1.32 million this month.