Cumby’s sales tax collections fall for first time since Oct. 2003

Town’s rebates have risen five-fold since sale of alcohol approved

By BRUCE ALSOBROOK | News-Telegram Managing Editor

It's hardly bad news, but for the first time in more than three years, sales tax rebates in Cumby have fallen — by a measly $44.70.

Since October of 2003 — one month after the town's residents voted to allow the sale of alcohol — Cumby has seen increases every month in sales tax rebates, and healthy ones at that.

This month's sales tax rebate check of $13,013.88 was down a miserly 0.34 percent from the $13,058.58 one year ago.

Over the years, the sales tax allocation to Cumby — which reflect sales of taxable goods, including alcohol — has climbed dramatically. In 2003, for example, the town's 12-month total in sales tax allocations came to $23,990. The number almost doubled in 2004 to $53,231, then climbed again to $87,737 in 2005. Last year, Cumby pulled in a whopping $125,890.

Some of that increase can be attributed to a 0.5 percent sales tax increase approved by voters in the intervening years. Still, it shows a dramatic amount of money coming into the town from outside its borders. The 2006 allocations reflect $8.4 million in sales, equivalent to every man, woman and child of Cumby's estimated 637 residents spending $13,175 per year on taxable goods.

Meanwhile, retailers in Sulphur Springs posted healthy sales numbers for the Christmas holidays, judging from sales tax rebates distributed this month by the state comptroller's office.

Sales tax rebates to the city this month totaled $491,785, up 10.26 percent from one year ago. The February check to the city brought the year-to-date total to $799,379, up 7.22 percent for the year.

Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Susan Combs sent $609.4 million in local sales tax to cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts this month, up 6.4 percent from February 2006.

This month's payment to Sulphur Springs and other Texas cities and counties includes sales taxes collected by monthly filers in December and reported to the state comptroller in January. It also includes quarterly returns for sales in October, November and December, as well as all annual filings.

Como saw another drop in sales tax allocations this month, the fifth consecutive time the rebates have fallen. This month's sales tax check of $1,535 was down 28.58 percent from one year ago. For the year, Como's sales tax allocations are down 29.63 percent.

Hopkins County's coffers were also lifted by a $175,503 sales tax allocation this month, up 10.2 percent from February of 2006. So far this year, the county has received $292,874, a 7.81 percent increase.

Elsewhere, most, but not all, cities in the region recorded upticks in sales tax collections.

Greenville recorded a 3.94 percent gain at $616,507, and the municipalities total for the year is up 2.55 percent.

Paris received a check for $749,720, up 2.19 percent from February 2006. The city's allocations have increased 2.62 percent for the year.

Emory's sales tax rebate fell 0.51 percent to $76,176, but for the first two months of the year, allocations are up 2.89 percent.

Mount Pleasant recorded a $496,626 allocation this month, up 16.72 percent. The city is 10.48 percent ahead of last year's pace for the first two months.

Winnsboro's rebate of $77,918 was up 31.1 percent from one year ago. The two-month total is also up 12.24 percent.

Cooper's sales tax rebates were down 19.16 percent for the month and 14.82 percent for the years

Mount Vernon was down 31.64 percent this month to $52,363. For the fist two months of 2007, the city's allocations are down 17.64 percent.

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