By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun
Sales tax receipts for January are up in Navarro County, overall, a reflection of Corsicana’s continuing growth in sales, but some of the smaller towns in the county aren’t doing as well.
Kerens, which had a year-long streak of increases, saw a small decline in November, of about 9 percent, according to information from the Texas Comptroller’s office.
“Last year we were up a whole bunch and it was basically one business here in town doing some out-of-town stuff,” explained City Secretary Cindy Scott. That particular contract boosted the city’s income for about two years, but that contract has since expired and things are back to normal in Kerens.
“We knew it was going to be temporary,” Scott said. “We’re still actually up over our average, over the last few years’ average, if you discount last year’s phenomenal growth.”
Also seeing a decline is the City of Richland, which saw another decline this month, by 26 percent. For the calendar year 2012, Richland’s sales taxes were down 12 percent overall. It’s unclear what’s causing the drop, said City Secretary Sharon Settlemyer.
“We only have two businesses here in Richland that pay sales taxes, so I’m guessing a big chunk of it is liquor sales,” she said. “Streetman now sells alcohol, so they don’t have to run over here to get it. Hopefully, sales will pick up.”
Actually, all of Freestone County is now open for beer and wine sales, not just Streetman, although not all stores have jumped through the hoops to do so. Freestone voters approved the measure in November’s general election, and sales began in December. Those sales wouldn’t be in this month’s sales tax allocation from the state, however, since the January allocation only reflects sales made in November.
Corsicana’s sales remain up, as they were for last year, compared to the previous year. This is in keeping with the state sales tax averages, which are also up. Statewide, sales tax revenues for November sales are up 6.56 percent, according to the comptroller’s figures. Corsicana’s sales figures for this month are up 9 percent.
“We’re very, very pleased,” said City Manager Connie Standridge. “It’s a generally positive economy. I can tell you that local stores seem to be doing more business, and I believe it’s a combination of more people shopping locally and the improved economy.”
Janet Jacobs may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Want to “sound off” to this article? E-mail: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com