If you listen to the national news, then you know the economy stinks, people are losing their jobs left and right, and nobody’s buying anything from retailers.
Except, maybe, in Sulphur Springs.
The state comptroller released the latest round of sales tax figures Friday, and lo and behold, the city of Sulphur Springs saw its retail activity climbing upward yet again.
The city’s rebate check for its share of the sales tax pie was up 6.77 percent from May of 2008. For the first five months of the year, sales tax dollars received by the city of Sulphur Springs are up 5.92 percent compared to this time one year ago.
This month’s check totaled $449,091, reflecting just a tad under $30 million in retail activity during the reporting period.
This month’s tax rebates include local sales taxes collected in March and reported by businesses filing monthly tax returns in April, and quarterly returns for the first three months of the year.
The fact that sales tax collections are up in Sulphur Springs is nothing new. The city’s monthly sales taxes have shown increases in 13 of the last 14 months.
Peter Karstens, the financial director for the city of Sulphur Springs, said in Tuesday’s City Council meeting that the city’s sales tax revenues were up 6.3 percent for the first seven months of the current fiscal year, which began Oct. 1.
“I can say we’re doing real good for being in the middle of a recession,” he told council members.
What is new is that the numbers continue to climb locally while the totals take a downturn elsewhere in Texas.
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Susan Combs announced Friday that the state’s sales tax revenue in April was down 3.1 percent compared to April 2008.
Meanwhile, local governments will receive $541.8 million in May sales tax allocations, down 2.3 percent.
“Although year-to-date revenue is up 1.3 percent for fiscal 2009, decreases in monthly collec tions are expected to continue this year,” Combs said.
Like Sulphur Springs, the towns of Cumby and Como also recorded gains in sales tax dollars. Como’s rebate for May rose 7.45 percent to $1,728, while Cumby’s numbers rose 23.41 percent to $14,569.
For the calendar year, Como’s collections are up 29.08 percent to $9,465, and Cumby’s is up 8.99 percent to $60,719.
Likewise, the Hopkins County treasury was enrichened by recent retail sales, with this month’s check of $157,875 reflecting an 11.21 percent gain. Through the first five months of the year, county sales tax collections have risen 6.78 percent to $683,823.
Not all areas of Northeast Texas fared as well, unfortunately
In Franklin County, Mount Vernon’s rebate of $51,642 was down 4.44 percent, nearly matching the year-to-date decline of 4.46 percent.
Also seeing downward turns were Rains and Wood counties, where the combined municipalities in each were down 3.25 percent and 4.6 percent respectively.
Delta County’s sales tax collections were also down just under 1 percent.
Hunt County’s totals were up 0.25 percent for the month, due largely to a small increase in Greenville of 0.58 percent.
Areas seeing improvements included Lamar County, where seven cities had a combined increase of 23.41 percent, and Titus County, where the Mount Pleasant rebates rose 19.85 percent and all cities combined were up 21.17 percent.
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