Sales tax figures soar
by Gary Kent
Oct 14, 2011 | 1330 views | 1 1 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Beeville — Bee County Judge David Silva had trouble containing his excitement Thursday morning as he read the monthly sales tax report from the office of Texas Comptroller Susan Combs.

The report showed that the county’s rebate from September had increased by 61.83 percent when compared to last September’s payment.

“It shows where the local economy is,” Silva said. “Because of the relative size of Beeville, a lot of people come here to buy.”

Silva was talking about the economic impact of the Eagle Ford Shale oil field activity on this region. Although Beeville is just south of all the activity, oil field workers and their families leave the smaller cities north of here and come to this city to shop.

“They go to the movies, they go to Wal-Mart,” Silva said. And that does not include the increased business that the city’s restaurants are seeing.

Silva said he always notices it when he and his family go to eat at Chili’s. He sees the usual number of familiar faces but then he notices that there are always a lot of strangers in the place.

“We definitely have a crowd of people,” Silva said. “I think it’s a godsend.”

According to Combs’ report, the county’s rebate this time came to $140,759.98. That was up from the $86,977.41 payment the county received for the same period last year.

Since January, the county has collected $1,170,572.25 in sales tax rebates from Austin. That is up by 31.12 percent from this time last year when the rebates reached $892,744.29.

The city also has seen phenomenal growth in sales tax receipts in the past year.

City Hall’s rebate was $322,310.36, up by 46.68 percent from the payment collected at this time in 2010. That payment was $219,731.13.

So far this year, the city has received $2,781,330.92 from Austin. That is an increase of 24.52 percent over the

$2,233,578.76 Beeville collected by this time last year.

Statewide sales tax revenue for September was $1.76 billion, up 11.8 percent compared to September 2010.

“Texas sales tax collections have now increased for 18 straight months,” Combs said. “All sectors showed increases in September, led by business spending, especially in the oil and gas-related sectors. Consumer sectors like restaurants and retail trade were also up. The recovery in Texas has brought sales tax collections almost back to peak 2008 levels, however the near-term outlook remains clouded due to the uneven performance of the U.S. economy.”

Combs will send September sales tax allocations totaling $505.2 million to cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts, up 13.9 percent compared to October 2010.

Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at
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October 15, 2011
Nothing lasts forever. How about reducing property taxes and building a rainy day fund. Please, don't spend it.