Sales tax rebates up for 4th month

By BRUCE ALSOBROOK, News-Telegram Managing Editor

July 9, 2008 - Sales tax rebates moved upward again this month, a good sign that falling retail sales in the city may finally be turning around.

The latest sales tax rebates to the city of Sulphur Springs, for the month of July, indicate a 5.15 percent rise from the same time one year ago. The city was scheduled to receive a payment of $353,585.96 for this month.

Sales tax dollars reflect retail sales activity. This month's rebates include local sales taxes collected in May. July's payment marks the fourth month this year that the city's sales tax collections reflected an increase when compared to the same month in 2007.

The city still lags behind last year's pace for sales tax rebates, however. Through the first seven months of this year, the city and EDC combined have received $2.407 million, 1.75 percent lower than the $2.450 million through July 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.

Like the city, Hopkins County also saw tax collections move upward for the reporting period. The county's check this month should total $137,759, a 3.15 percent improvement from last July. For the year, the $904,310 received is down 2.68 percent, however.

Elsewhere in the county, both Como and Cumby reported gains this month in sales tax rebates.

Como's payment of $1,618 was up 16.7 percent from July of 2007 and brought the seven month total for this year to $10,488. That's a 10.13 percent rise from one year ago.

Cumby's rebates totaled $11,856 this month, up 9.71 percent from the same month last year. Cumby's year-to-date total of $79,917 is up 8.62 percent.

Most cities in the area reported improved sales tax receipts this month.

Among the big gainers was Greenville, with a $456,355 rebate that was 9.76 percent higher than a year ago. That city's year-to-date collections are up 0.51 percent from the same point in 2007.

Emory saw a 5.46 percent improvement for the month to $63,361. That city's year-to-date payments are down 5.42 percent, however, at $422,041.

Mount Pleasant also reported an increase of 4.84 percent to $369,316. The city's payments through the first seven months are 1.65 percent below last year's pace, however.

Winnsboro also had a nice gain of 10.18 percent to $62,203. The figure helped bring the year-long payments to $432,790, which is 8.32 percent below last year's pace. Paris also had a better showing, with a $548,790 rebate representing a 5.27 percent higher rebate than in July of 2007. That city's year-to-date collections stand at $3.872 million, 0.7 percent ahead of one year ago.

On the other end of the spectrum were the city of Cooper, where the payment of $4,577 was down 16 percent from one year ago, while Mount Vernon's $42,033 check will be 6.75 percent lower than in July 2007. Through the first seven months, Mount Vernon's total collections of $320,559 is up 1.46 percent, while Cooper's $45,127 is down 7.56 percent.

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