Sales tax: County divided as 2015 starts

By Bob Buckel | Published Saturday, February 14, 2015
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Comptroller Glenn Hegar says Texas’ continued growth in sales tax revenue is driven by business spending in the manufacturing and wholesale trade sectors as well as the oil and natural gas mining sector.

Wise County reflects that.

Bridgeport’s sales tax receipts – fueled largely by oil, gas and manufacturing – are up more than 11 percent for the first two months of 2015.

Over in Decatur, where the economy is more retail-based, sales tax receipts are down 9.14 percent through February,

In February, Bridgeport collected $260,887 from its 1.5-cent sales tax. That’s up 14.25 percent from last year’s February number, and puts the city at $469,561 for the year so far.

Decatur’s base is bigger, but collections were down 15.5 percent in February, from last year’s $446,647 to $377,412. That brings the city’s two-month total to $704,362, compared to $775,237 at this point last year.

The February sales tax number reflects collections in December as well as October, November and December sales by businesses that report quarterly.

Hegar said he will continue to watch oil prices carefully, but for now the state’s 58-month winning streak for sales tax growth remains intact.

“This allocation … is indicative of a dynamic and diverse economy that continues to generate business investment and spending in Texas,” Hegar said. “My office will continue to carefully monitor the impact that lower oil prices will have on our state’s economy, but these sales tax allocation numbers are an encouraging sign of continued strength.”

In Wise County, as usual, the story varies from city to city.

In addition to Decatur, Rhome, New Fairview, Chico, Alvord and Aurora are all trailing last year’s sales tax through two months of 2015.

Bridgeport is joined in the plus column by Boyd, Paradise, Newark, Runaway Bay and Lake Brideport.

Countywide, those 12 cities’ sales tax collections were off 8.1 percent in February and trail 2014 so far by 3.3 percent.

Wise County, which collects a half-cent sales tax countywide, took a nearly 17-percent hit in February as it collected $396,967 after taking in $477,666 for the same period last year.

So far this year, Wise County’s collections trail last year’s by 8.8 percent.

Sales tax

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