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Comptroller to Send September 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 September sales tax revenue disbursements from the state. In a press release dated Sept. 10, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar stated he will send cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts $765.3 million in local sales tax allocations for the month of September, which is 4.5 percent less than in September 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 $495.2 million, down 4.8 percent when compared to September 2019. Counties can anticipate sales tax allocations of $46.1 million, down 9.4 percent compared to last year’s numbers.

In addition, Hegar will send $60.1 million to 248 special purpose taxing districts, down 1.8 percent over last year. The ten transit system authorities in Texas will receive $163.9 million in sales tax allocations, down 3.2 percent compared to a year ago.

The sales tax allocations referenced above represent “… sales made in July by businesses that report tax monthly. Rising COVID-19 infection rates in July likely suppressed economic activity.”

At the local level, Houston County showed an increase in allocations. The county has a tax rate of 0.50 percent and will receive $118,583.99 – up from $106,339.03 received for the same tax period last year, indicative of an 11.51 percent increase. So far this year, Houston County has received $960,010.59 compared to last year’s total of $1,218,488.69 for a decrease of 21.21 percent.

The sales tax allocations for incorporated cities of Houston County were mostly positive as four of the five incorporated cities showed an increase.

The City of Crockett, which has a 1.5 percent tax rate, will receive $146,817.94 in sales tax allocations. This is up from $142,528.56 received for the same tax period last year and reflects a three percent increase. Total yearly payments to date show Crockett has garnered $1,279,384.67 compared to last year’s total of $2,146,921.45 for a 40.4 percent decrease.

The City of Grapeland, which has a 1.0 percent tax rate, will realize $11,676.22 in sales tax allocation payments. This is down from the $15,375.74 received for the same tax period last year and reflects a decline of 24.06 percent. Year-to-date figures are also indicative of a downturn, going from $ 161,951.65 received last year at this time to $112,917.70 amassed so far this year, for a 30.27 percent decrease.

The City of Kennard, which has a 1.0 percent tax rate, will acquire $2,294.22 in disbursements. This is up from the $2,025.96 taken in during the same tax period last year, indicating a 13.24 percent increase. Year-to-date figures are also showing an upward trend from $18,449.80  collected last year at this time to $20,318.06 received so far this year. This signifies a 10.12 percent increase in sales tax payments.

The City of Latexo, which also has a 1.0 percent tax rate, will procure $2,529.26 in sales tax allocations. This represents an increase from the $2,435.02 received for the same tax period last year and indicates a 3.87 percent incline. Year-to-date figures are also showing an increase from $18,422.84 (2019) to $21,529.34 (2020), which marks a 16.86 percent increase in allocations.

The City of Lovelady, which has a 1.25 percent tax rate, will garner $7,029.62 in sales tax allocations. This is more than the $5,205.13 accrued for the same tax period last year and reflects an increase of 35.05 percent. Year-to-date figures are also showing an increase going from $47,367.33 to $57,701.97. This represents an increase of 21.81 percent.

Anderson County, which has a 0.50 percent tax rate, will receive $220,856.49 in sales tax payments. This is an increase from $210,751.38           received for the same reporting period last year and indicates an incline of 4.79 percent. Year-to-date numbers are also showing an upward trend going from $1,863,352.30 received last year at this time to $2,070,344.60 received so far this year. The increased allocation represents an expansion of 11.1 percent.

The City of Elkhart, which has a 1.25 percent tax rate, will receive $15,546.88 in sales tax allocations. This is down from the $16,324.29 received for the same tax period last year and represents a decrease of 4.76 percent. Year-to-date figures, however, are showing an increase from $123,537.95 (2019) to $141,651.49 (2020) reflective of a 14.66 percent rise in tax allocation payments.

The City of Palestine, which has a 1.50 percent tax rate, will receive $497,520.06 in sales tax allocations. This is down from the $498,814.69 received for the same tax period last year and reflects a decline of 0.25 percent. Year-to-date figures, however, are showing an increase from a total of $4,483,930.35 received last year at this time to $4,786,236.03 received so far this year, representative of a 6.74 percent rise.

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

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