Tricks and treats: October sales tax numbers show extremes

By Bob Buckel | Published Saturday, October 12, 2013

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Wise County has 12 cities that collect a sales tax – from Decatur, which has already taken in more than $3.4 million this year, to Lake Bridgeport, where the 10-month total is just over $15,000.

But while Decatur’s collections from the 1.5-cent tax are up 5.4 percent for the year, compared to 2012, in Lake Bridgeport they’re up nearly 60 percent.

Granted, Lake Bridgeport’s total has grown only from $9,803 last year to $15,565 this year, so they’re not exactly awash in cash – but percentage-wise, they’re second in Wise County in growth.

Aurora outshines them all.

Aurora, the only city in the county that only tacks 1 cent onto the state’s sales tax, had a pretty good month in October.

Last year, the city took in $1,917 for the month. This year, the total is $14,370 – an increase of nearly 650 percent. That brings the 2013 total for Aurora to $41,246, a 117 percent improvement over last year’s $18,938 at this point.

Three other cities also saw big gains in October: New Fairview, up 136 percent, Lake Bridgeport, up 126 percent, and Paradise, up 83.3 percent.

But four Wise County cities saw big drops in October as well – putting the “trick” in trick or treat.

Chico’s sales tax brought in 12 percent less compared to last October. Newark was down 13.4 percent for the month, while Rhome was off by 16.4 percent and Bridgeport – the county’s second-largest market – was down 21.5 percent.

With all that, only Bridgeport (-9.84) and Chico (-18.38) are down for the year. Other cities are up from 1.4 percent in Alvord to Aurora’s 117 percent.

Together, the county’s cities are taking in just under 1 percent more than last year.

Statewide, 1,146 cities collected more than $382 million in October. That’s up 5.6 percent over last October, and those cities are running 6.2 percent ahead of 2012 through 10 months.

Wise County, which is allowed to tack a half-cent onto the sales tax, has picked up just a hair under $4 million this year. That’s not chump-change, but it’s down 6.2 percent compared to last year.

“State sales tax revenue collections continued to grow at a moderate pace,” Texas Comptroller Susan Combs said. “Growth was led by collections from the construction, telecommunications and retail sectors. State sales tax revenue has now increased for 42 consecutive months.”

The October sales tax figures represent monthly sales made in August.

Sales Tax October

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