Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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January 4, 2014

Sales tax receipts up around county

Corsicana — Even as the western world celebrates the new year, cities and the state are operating on a different fiscal calendar. In mid-December, the state sent out tax receipts for October, reflecting very positive results for fall.

The receipts sent out to cities in mid-December reflect October’s sales in the stores. Apparently, October was a good month for local businesses, as well as statewide. The state’s sales tax schedule gives businesses time to send their sales taxes to the state, and then the state has a month or so to send the city’s portion out, which is why there’s a two-month delay.

Navarro County’s receipts were up almost 10.5 percent for the month, and up 4.2 percent for the year, reflecting Corsicana’s good news. Corsicana has most of the retail and industry in the county, so the county–wide figures tend to follow Corsicana’s fortunes closely. Corsican’s monthly receipts were 10.6 percent, and 4.8 percent, respectively.

Corsicana’s city council has already been asked to spend some of that money on remodeling the billing department, although the first proposal was rejected by the council for different reasons.

Other cities that had a good October were Angus, Blooming Grove, Dawson, Eureka, Frost, Navarro and Oak Valley. For smaller cities, the difference in percentages can mean a relatively small amount of money. For example, Goodlow’s 10 percent improvement over October last year really only means $41 in actual dollars.

A better indicator is to look at the monthly receipts in addition to the year-to-date figures. For example, Oak Valley’s receipts are up 82 percent, or $55 for the month, but the annual receipts are up, as well — nearly 100 percent over 2012. In that example, it means an improvement of $876, which is a lot of money for Oak Valley.

Blooming Grove saw a sharp uptick from October to October, but is down slightly for the year, almost 4 percent.

Dawson’s seen some marvelous figures this year, with 73 percent up for the month, and then up more than 13 percent for the year. The city has five businesses on the highway that are doing well, according to Ronda Franks, city secretary. In addition, the city will see the opening of a new Family Dollar this year, which will also increase sales taxes. The city intends to use the money on improving city streets, Franks said.

Rice had a slow month in October, but for the year the city is up 25 percent, or nearly $18,000.

Rice had good months in August and April, with record-setting sales tax receipts of nearly $8,000 each month, said Mayor Jim Fortson. “The only other noticeable thing is that in 2011, 2012 and 2013, we just about increased our annual sales tax revenue one and a half times over anything done in the previous eight years. It’s probably the Sonic and the Shell station. It’s right here in the heart of Rice, so anything that happens, whether it’s a Civil War reenactment or a baseball or Little League tournament, it has  wider effect if we have anything going on in town.”

Fortson speculated that the loss of ag exemptions for non-farmers and ranchers may have also affected sales taxes paid by I-45 Auction, which commonly sells farm implements.

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Janet Jacobs may be reached via email at jjacobs@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “soundoff” to this article? Email: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com

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