City's sales tax numbers improve in June

By BRUCE ALSOBROOK, News-Telegram Managing Editor

July 6, 2008 - Sales tax numbers turned upward for the city and county in June, perhaps marking a reversal of a trend reflecting generally flat retail sales in recent months.

The sales tax rebate to the city of Sulphur Springs last month was $318,361, up 4.62 percent from June of 2007.

It marked the third month this year that the city's sales tax collections reflected an increase when compared to the same month in 2007.

Sales tax dollars reflect retail sales activity, with each 1.5 cents collected by the city equivalent to $1 in sales of taxable goods.

Through the first six months of this year, the total sales tax collections received by the city were down 2.85 percent. As of June, the six-month total was $2.054 million, compared to $2.114 million in the first half of 2007.

The city has not seen sales tax rebates for a year drop since collections declined from $3.2 million in 2001 to $3.187 million in 2002.

Hopkins County also received a higher amount of taxes from retail sales last month than in June of 2007. The county's portion of the sales tax pie rose 4.48 percent to $126,187 in June. Through the first six months of the year, the county has received $766,551 in sales taxes. That's down 3.66 percent from the first half of 2007.

Elsewhere in the county, Cumby reported a 27.34 percent rise in sales tax collections to $12,352. For the year, Cumby's rebates are up 8.43 percent to $68,061.

In Como, the monthly rebate was up 3.35 percent to $1,537. Through the first six months of 2008, Como's sales taxes are up 9 percent from the same time frame in 2007.

Sales tax numbers in nearby cities and counties were a mixed bag, both for the month of June and for the first half of the year.

Delta County's total sales tax rebates were down 19.53 percent for June and 7.39 percent for the year.

In Franklin County, the city of Mount Vernon saw a downturn in sales, with the $42,159 check representing a 7.93 percent decrease from June of 2007. The year-to-date collections are up by 2.83 percent, however, to $278,525.

Municipalities in Hunt County recorded an overall increase in the sales tax numbers of 1.55 percent, although Greenville, the largest retail market in the area, was down 0.83 percent to $422,225. For the year, sales in Greenville are down just under 1 percent. Gains in smaller cities in Hunt County such as Celeste, Quinlan and West Tawakoni helped offset the downturn in Greenville last month. For the year, Hunt County cities are up an average of 1.48 percent.

Lamar County saw its economic struggles reverse in June, with rebates to the city of Paris rising 21 percent to $588,494. The hefty increase almost pushed the year-to-date totals to even with the first six months of 2007. The first half of 2008 is down 0.01 percent from the first six months of 2007. All towns in Lamar County combined saw the rebates up 19.93 percent, and for the year are up 0.08 percent.

In Titus County, sales tax collections were also up significantly in Mount Pleasant, with June's check of $404,575 up 17.17 percent from a year ago. Year-to-date collections, however, remain 2.64 percent lower than the first half of 2007. Countrywide, collections were up 17.78 percent in June but down 2.21 percent for the year.

Rains County's three cities -- Emory, Point and East Tawakoni -- saw rebates go up 6.85 percent in June, led by Emory's 6.66 percent rise to $62,040. For the year, Emory is down 7.12 percent, and the county as a whole is down 5.05 percent.

Wood County's rebates to six towns were down 0.07 percent from June of 2007, although Winnsboro, which has seen declining collections for much of 2008, recorded a 7.15 percent increase for June to $63,397. Winnsboro is down 10.84 percent through the first six months, however, and the count overall is down 1.78 percent.

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