Sales tax news good, bad and ugly

By Bob Buckel | Published Saturday, October 13, 2012

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When it comes to sales tax income as a measure of the local economy, the news out of Wise County is definitely mixed.

Decatur, the county’s biggest retail sales generator, is almost dead even with last year. The $3.2 million in sales tax the city has taken in so far in 2012 is seven-tenths of a percent better than 2011 at this point.

But in Bridgeport, the city’s 1.5-cent sales tax has cranked out nearly $2.2 million this year – 28 percent better than last year.

After those two, it’s all over the map. New Fairview is third, but id down 33 percent from last year. Chico, fourth at just under $300,000, is down 18 percent, and Boyd, the fifth-biggest sales tax collector, is down 13 percent. But sixth-place Rhome is up nearly 40 percent.

The general trend throughout the area looks fairly similar. Wichita County, with five cities that collect sales tax, is up 2.42 percent for the year while Parker County’s 13 cities show a gain of 9.3 percent through 10 months of 2012. Montague and Jack counties are both down for the year, but Tarrant and Denton are both up – Tarrant nearly 6 percent and Denton nearly 15 percent.

Statewide, the 1,145 cities that collect a sales tax took in nearly $362 million in October and have banked $3.687 billion so far this year. That’s more than 8 percent better than in 2011.

Comptroller Susan Combs said state sales tax revenue for the month of September was $1.96 billion, up 11.6 percent compared to September 2011.

“Continued strength in the manufacturing and oil and natural gas sectors led to the sales tax revenue increase,” Combs said. “Collections were also boosted by improvement in consumer spending at restaurants and retail stores.

“State sales tax revenue has now increased for 30 straight months.”

The sales tax figures represent monthly sales made in August and reported to the state on September tax returns.

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