Smallest city has biggest gain

By Bob Buckel | Published Saturday, September 13, 2014
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When it comes to sales tax income, Wise County has 10 cities up and two down.

But the biggest story this month is Lake Bridgeport.

Not the actual lake – which continues to drop – but the city, which is more than 80 percent ahead of last year after a huge gain in September.

Lake Bridgeport’s check this month is $11,757. That’s a 718 percent increase over last year’s September check of $1,437. In fact, last year through nine months, the 1.5-cent sales tax had brought the city just $12,682.

This year’s September payment puts the nine-month total over $23,000 – 81.5 percent better than 2013.

According to spokesman Kevin Lyons in the Texas Comptroller’s Office, payments from one particular taxpayer had been held up from February through July while the state attempted to verify the validity of the taxpayer.

“We could never get the taxpayer to get back with us, so we let the payments go,” he said.

By law, he can’t reveal who the taxpayer was, but the big one-time payment includes an accumulation of about six months’ payments from that one source.

Elsewhere, two Wise County cities were down for September – Newark and Aurora – but are still up for the year.

The two cities that are down for the year – Bridgeport and New Fairview – were up in September. If both continue to have months like they had in September, they may be back in the black by year’s end.

Bridgeport had a 10 percent gain for the month, and New Fairview’s September was 17.6 percent better than the same month last year.

The 12 Wise County cities that collect a sales tax brought in over $66,000 more than in the previous September – about 9.5 percent. That put the county back in the black for the year by two-thirds of a percent.

Chico showed the biggest gain for the month, 33.3 percent, pulling in $23,241 compared to $17,170 in the same month last year. That put the city 18.3 percent ahead of last year through nine months.

Newark, despite an 11 percent loss for the month, remains nearly 80 percent ahead of last year after experiencing its own windfall earlier this year.

Comptroller Susan Combs said fiscal year 2014 ended with total state collections at $27.27 billion – 5.5 percent over the previous year.

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

Sales Tax

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