NEWS HEADLINES

July a slow month for sales taxes

By Bob Buckel | Published Saturday, July 13, 2013

Sales tax revenue for Wise County’s 12 cities remains ahead of last year through seven months – but just barely.

So far in 2013, the cities have taken in nearly $5.2 million from the sales tax, which is 1.5 cents everywhere but Aurora, which gets just 1 cent.

But in July, sales tax income overall was down 8.8 percent, and the margin between 2012 and 2013 is now down to just 1.1 percent.

Five of the county’s six largest cities – Decatur, Bridgeport, Rhome, Boyd and Chico – saw their sales tax income fall in July, from Decatur’s 5.1 percent drop to Rhome’s 37.1 percent dropoff.

So far, all but Bridgeport and Chico remain ahead of last year, but some of those margins are getting thinner.

Cities use sales tax revenue to supplement property taxes in funding their basic operations. In Decatur, the sales tax has brought in $2.354,319 so far in 2013. Even in the smallest market, Lake Bridgeport, the $8,874 in sales tax revenue makes up a significant portion of the city’s budget.

The county, which levies a half-cent sales tax, has taken in $2,885,891 – down 5 percent from last year’s $3,040,909 through July.

Texas Comptroller Susan Combs said state sales tax revenue continues to grow statewide, boosted by business sectors such as manufacturing and construction.

“Remittances from the oil and natural gas industry remain strong,” she added, “while sales tax revenue was also notable for restaurants – a consumer sector.”

July local sales tax allocations totaled $578.3 million, up 8.1 percent compared to July 2012.

The July figures represent monthly sales made in May and reported to the Comptroller’s office in June.

July Sales Tax

SALES TAX HOLIDAY SET

Texans can save money on certain items priced under $100 during the state’s annual sales tax holiday, scheduled Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 9-11.

The law exempts most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks priced under $100 from sales tax, which could save shoppers about $8 on every $100 they spend during the weekend.

“Texas families can take advantage of the sales tax holiday when doing their back-to-school shopping,” Combs said. “The tax holiday applies to a variety of items ranging from pens to jeans to help shoppers around Texas save some of their hard-earned money.”

Lists of apparel and school supplies that may be purchased tax free can be found on the Comptroller’s website at www.TexasTaxHoliday.org.

This year, shoppers will save an estimated $74.1 million in state and local sales taxes during the Sales Tax Holiday.

The tax holiday weekend has been an annual event since 1999.

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