Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

August 20, 2013

Sales tax receipts grow in county

By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana — Sales tax revenues are in for August, reflecting sales made in June, and for the most part they’re up in Navarro County.

The average gain for a city is just under 7 percent. In Navarro County, the bulk of sales taxes go to Corsicana, with the most stores and industries. Corsicana’s August receipts were up just over 7 percent. For the year thus far, Corsicana’s sales taxes are up almost 5 percent over last year’s August receipts.

“We will be definitely doing better than our budget numbers,” said Corsicana Finance Director Ginger Richardson.

Corsicana is now projecting that the city will end this year having collected $5,740,000 in sales taxes. The original projection was $5,583,000. In addition to raising the 2013 projection, they’ve also raised the projection for next year to $5,828,000, Richardson said.

“We’re just following the trend and watching it closely,” she said. “We’ll continue to watch it closely and do our best so we don’t go over our budget in spending. That’s one of the numbers we really watch closely because it drives our spending.”

Corsicana’s budget is roughly one third sales taxes, one third ad valorem or property taxes, and one third other income, such as franchise fees.

If sales taxes don’t come in as predicted, the city will adjust the budget, as they have in the past.

“We’ll back off if we don’t feel we’re doing well,” Richardson said. “It’s one of the more volatile revenues in our budget. We’re optimistic that this year will end well.”

Month to month, cities can do remarkably well, and an example is Oak Valley, which had a stellar leap from August 2012, when it collected $17 in sales taxes, to this August, when the small city collected $308. For the year thus far, Oak Valley has almost doubled its sales tax income. The reason is a new taxidermy business in the community, city officials are speculating.

In smaller cities, it’s often a matter of speculation as to why sales tax incomes vary.

Emhouse Mayor Johnny Pattison isn’t sure why his city’s income is up 27 percent over last August, or why it’s up 19 percent for the year. The city only has two businesses, a mechanic’s shop and a business that builds porches and steps for mobile homes.

“Maybe their business is booming,” Pattison said.

Nonetheless, the extra thousand dollars for the year will come in handy in a town where revenues are tight.

“We’ll probably work on streets,” Pattison said.

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