Some area cities posted double-digit increases in sales tax proceeds over the past year, while many had small increases and others fell short, according to a report released this week from Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar.
On the high end, White Oak posted a 30 percent increase to $100,758 from $77,457 a year ago, and Gilmer saw its proceeds rise by 22.76 percent to $142,599 from $116,156 a year ago.
“Any sales tax increase we get is great,” Gilmer City Manager Greg Hutson said.
However, he said the increased is “tempered” by a proposal in the state legislature to cap annual property taxes increases at 2.5 percent, with higher rates requiring an election.
He said the city has a property tax rate at about 63 cents for every $100 in valuation, adding it is a lot harder to budget based on sales tax projections.
Referring to state lawmakers, he said, “They are tying our hands behind our backs.”
Longview posted a 8.49 percent increase to nearly $2.43 million from about $2.24 million a year ago, while other cities saw smaller increases.
Kilgore’s proceeds dropped 4.23 percent to $756,796 from $790,240 a year ago, while Tatum’s disbursements dropped 13.39 percent from $20,517 to $17,769.
Longview’s increase in its disbursement for April is similar to the statewide annual jump of 8.4 percent that Hegar’s office reported based on sales taxes rung up in February by businesses that report taxes monthly.
Longview spokesman Shawn Hara said the city’s disbursement is “still good, positive news. We have been trending still above what we have been budgeted. East Texas has been experiencing a strong economy, and this is another signal of it.”
Gladewater saw its disbursements increase by 0.93 percent, from $81,340 to about $82,099.
“It’s just the first quarter of the year, coming out of the winter months,” Gladewater City Manager Ricky Tow said. “It is just showing that people are trying to buy local.”