City sales tax revenue “rolling in the deep”

City Of Henderson

Consumer confidence is high in Henderson heading into 2013, with January collections up 5.74 percent compared to this time last year, according to the new statewide sales tax summary from the Texas Comptroller’s Office.

This month the City of Henderson’s sales tax rebate check from the state will amount to $364,315, compared to $344,533 for the same period in 2012.

State numbers indicate an upward trend in sales tax revenue with December’s overall collections rising by nearly 10 percent compared to the previous year. Henderson city manager Mike Barrow said the numbers are positive indicators for the local economy.

“Looking at several other cities around us along with the cities we are compared with monthly by the paper, other cities showed very good sales in November and others showed decreased sales,” he said. “Our sales tax revenue ended up in the middle and good compared to last 2011 November and 2010 November sales by 5.7 percent and 12.5 percent respectively.”

Barrow believes that the numbers continue to indicate growing consumer confidence in shopping locally, especially through the holiday season.

“Our sales numbers may look to level off a bit going into the spring since alcohol was an influence on February sales last year, but indicators still point to positive improvement in the Spring of 2013,” he said. “Other than the national economy, the economy in this part of the state is showing signs of improving and we have things on the horizon that will provide opportunity for more money to flow into our community.”

Texas Comptroller Susan Combs announced on Jan. 9 that state sales tax revenue in December 2012 was $2.17 billion, up 9.4 percent compared to December 2011.

“Strong sales tax collections continue in most major economic sectors in Texas,” said Combs. “The strongest growth was from business spending-driven sectors including oil and natural gas, manufacturing and construction.”

Combs will send cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts their January local sales tax allocations totaling $530.8 million, up 7.3 percent compared to January 2012.

Sales tax receipts in Henderson have consistently scored at or near double-digit increases since February 2012, when beer and wine sales went into effect in the city. Rusk County as a whole received $418,898, a 6.48 percent increase from January 2012’s total of $393,400. Reklaw in particular posted impressive numbers, with a 233 percent improvement from $140 to $467.

Henderson’s monthly increase actually trailed other Rusk County cities — with the exception of Tatum, which reported a 2.28 percent decrease in September. Other than Tatum, all cities collecting sales tax in Rusk County showed an increase this month.

Overton improved the most during the month of January out of all Rusk County communities, earning $24,290 in sales tax revenue for a 22.16 percent increase compared to last year’s total of 19,883. Mount Enterprise pulled in $9,541, 18 percent more than in January 2012.

Locally, Henderson levies the maximum-allowed rate of 2 percent, Tatum is at 1.75 percent, Overton and Mount Enterprise are at 1.5 percent and Reklaw levies at 1 percent.

Among area cities of comparable size, Henderson now trails Kilgore and Mount Pleasant after several months of out pacing both. Kilgore was up 19.12 percent compared to a year ago, with Mount Pleasant posting an 8.43 percent increase for the month.

Tyler reported collections of $2.7 million for the month, up just 1.68 percent compared to 2011, while Longview reported collections of $2.3 million for the month, up 4.77 percent. Both Longview and Tyler levy a 1.5 percent sales tax.


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