Summer slump hits cities’ sales tax numbers

By Bob Buckel | Published Saturday, September 14, 2013

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Eight of Wise County’s 12 cities saw a decline in sales tax income in September.

Those numbers may indicate a summer slump, as they reflect July sales, reported in August to the State Comptroller’s office and rebated to cities in September.

Decatur, Bridgeport, Rhome, New Fairview, Chico, Alvord, Newark and Runaway Bay were all down for the month, but Bridgeport and Chico are the only cities trailing last year overall.

The cities that were up in September were up strong – Boyd by nearly 32 percent, Lake Bridgeport up 37 percent, Paradise up 38 percent and Aurora up a chart-busting 333 percent.

Bridgeport and Decatur combined account for more than 80 percent of the county’s sales taxes, and the tale of the two cities couldn’t be more different in 2013.

Decatur’s 1.5-cent sales tax generated $323,639 in September – down $865, a fraction of a percent from the same month last year.

Bridgeport’s 1.5-cent levy on sales brought in $235,160 for the month. That’s off by $51,684 – more than the rest of the cities combined for the month.

For the year, Bridgeport’s loss is $207,418 or 8.38 percent less than last year’s nine-month total.

Decatur is running 5 percent ahead of last year, with collections up by $145,606.

Rhome and New Fairview were down for the month but remain up for year, and Boyd, which rounds out the county’s top five, was up 31.8 percent for the month and is up 25 percent for the year.

Chico was down $3,670 for the month – 17.6 percent – and is running $41,723 behind last year through the September payment, a 19 percent shortfall.

Aurora’s numbers are smaller, but the percentages are through the roof. After collecting $1,639 from its 1-cent sales tax last September, the city took in $7,102 this year. The gain of $5,463 for the month put the city up $9,856 for the year – 58 percent better than last year.

Combined, the 12 cities are down $51,032 for the month but up $69,591 for the year, a 1.05 percent gain over last year.

Statewide, Texas’ 1,144 cities took in more than $397 million in September and have collected over $3.5 billion since 2012 began. That’s up 6.29 percent compared to 2011.

Wise County, which collects a half-cent sales tax, has seen its receipts decline by 6.6 percent this year – a loss of more than $250,000 in revenue for the county’s general fund. The drop in September was worse, at 12.15 percent more than $50,000 below last September’s take.

For the fiscal year that just ended, the state of Texas collected $25.8 billion from the sales tax, up 7.2 percent from fiscal 2012.

Comptroller Susan Combs said both business and consumer spending contributed to the gains.

September sales tax

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