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Comptroller to Send January Sales Tax Allocations to Cities and Counties

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By Will Johnson                                                                                                                                                            

Messenger Reporter

EAST TEXAS – Area cities and counties will soon receive their January sales tax revenue disbursements from the state. In a press release dated Jan. 8, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar stated he will send cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts $763.8 million in local sales tax allocations for the month of January, which is four percent more than in January 2019.

As to what this means to area residents, Houston County Auditor Melissa Jeter previously provided an explanation of how the sales tax allocations affect property taxation in the county.

“Sales tax collections received by the County from the Comptroller are directly related to the ad valorem property tax reduction. When calculating the effective tax rate, the actual taxes collected – not budgeted – are reduced from the value, thereby reducing the tax rate. The county sales and use tax of 1/2 cent was put in place to lower the property tax. Whatever money we receive from sales tax is directly related to the amount of property tax rate reduction,” the auditor clarified.

“When anticipating revenues, the entire budget process is an educated guess. Houston County officials have historically been very conservative and realistic which has helped the county hold a recommended fund balance level, even while other entities were struggling and making cuts,” Jeter asserted.

Texas cities will receive $488.7 million, up 3.9 percent when compared to January 2019. Texas counties can anticipate sales tax allocations of $47.7 million, up 0.2 percent compared to last year’s numbers.

In addition, Hegar will send $58.1 million to 248 special purpose taxing districts, up 2.2 percent over last year. The ten transit system authorities in Texas will receive $169.2 million in sales tax allocations, up six percent compared to a year ago.

The sales tax allocations referenced above represent “… sales made in November by businesses that report tax monthly.”

At the local level, Houston County showed an increase in allocations. The county has a tax rate of 0.50 percent and will receive $108,222.75 – up from $106,141.62 received for the same tax period last year, indicative of a 1.96 percent increase.

The sales tax allocations for incorporated cities of Houston County were fairly positive with four of the five showing an increase in the allocation of sales tax payments.

The City of Crockett, which has a 1.5 percent tax rate, will receive $128,095.77 in sales tax allocations. This is up from $125,544.98 received for the same tax period last year and reflects a 2.03 percent increase.

The City of Grapeland, which also has a 1.5 percent tax rate, will realize $9,092.71 in sales tax allocation payments. This is down from the $12,042.72 received for the same tax period last year and reflects a decline of 24.49 percent.

The City of Kennard, which has a 1.0 percent tax rate, will acquire $2,076.61 in disbursements. This is up from the $1,955.72 taken in during the same tax period last year, indicating a 6.18 percent increase.  The City of Latexo, which also has a 1.0 percent tax rate, will procure $2,113.48 in sales tax allocations. This represents an increase from the $2,066.59 received for the same tax period last year and indicates a 2.26 percent incline.

The City of Lovelady, which has a 1.25 percent tax rate, will garner $5,311.05 in sales tax allocations. This is an increase from the $3,769.20 accrued for the same tax period last year and reflects an incline of 40.9 percent.

Anderson County, which has a 0.50 percent tax rate, will receive $190,799.30 in sales tax payments. This is a decrease from $208,755.84 received for the same reporting period last year and indicates a decline of 8.6 percent.

The City of Elkhart, which has a 1.25 percent tax rate, will receive $15,086.83 in sales tax allocations. This is up from the $10,777.45 received for the same tax period last year and represents an increase of 39.98 percent. 

The City of Palestine, which has a 1.50 percent tax rate, will receive $455,767.53 in sales tax allocations. This is down from the $493,013.37 received for the same tax period last year and reflects a decline of 7.55 percent.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.