orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

Local News

November 11, 2013

County shows improvement in latest sales tax figures

VIDOR — The majority of cities in Orange County continue to show varying levels of growth based on recent sales tax figures from the State Comptroller.

Texas Comptroller Susan Combs announced state sales tax revenue in October was $2.14 billion, up 5.4 percent compared to October 2012. Locally, for Orange County as a whole, sales tax revenue increased 0.32 percent compared to 2012.

“Growth in sales tax revenues was led by collections from the telecommunications sector,” Combs said. “The construction sector also showed significant gains. State sales tax revenue has increased for 43 consecutive months.”

Combs will send cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts their November local sales tax allocations totaling $654.6 million, up 7 percent compared to November 2012.

The City of Vidor led the way with a sales tax check of $298,095.95, which is 36.50 percent more than the total at this time last year, $218,375.72. Vidor is 8.60 percent ahead of 2012 for the year-to-date.

“A lot of the increase has to do with back to school shopping,” said Mike Kunst, Vidor city manager. “Vidor is a good place to live and shop, and, with the construction on the (Neches River) bridge, more people are staying in Vidor to take care of their needs. Back to school shopping always spurs some extra revenue. We also have some new restaurants, like James Brown’s Gumbo House and Grill and the French Quarter Bar and Grill, which are bringing in a lot of people who do not live in Vidor.”

The City of Orange will receive a sales tax payment this month of $289,133.22, representing a decrease of 22.33 percent from the $372,274.32 collected in November 2012. The last time the City of Orange had such a noticeable decrease was due to a previous overpayment by the comptroller’s office and the difference was withheld the following month. Jay Trahan, director of Economic Development for the City of Orange, was out of town and unavailable for comment.

Pine Forest and Rose City both showed continued increases with 67.86 percent and 9.32 percent, respectively. Pine Forest, located north of Vidor, is 46.53 percent ahead of 2012 figures, while Rose City is 19.92 percent ahead for the year-to-date.

Bridge City and West Orange also had increases in sales tax revenue, according to the report. Bridge City received a payment of approximately $6,000 more than it did at this time last year, which translates into an increase of 4.62 percent. West Orange’s payment of $86,698.28 is a 2.02 percent gain when compared to the same time period in 2012.

The City of Pinehurst was the only other local entity with a decrease this month as the city was down 7.48 percent compared to this time in 2012. For the year-to-date, the City of Pinehurst is 4.24 percent below 2012 figures.

Combs will send cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts their November local sales tax allocations totaling $654.6 million, up 7 percent compared to November 2012.

The sales tax figures represent September sales reported by monthly tax filers and July, August and September sales reported by quarterly filers, the comptroller’s release stated.

The Comptroller’s office tracks 12-month sales totals between Nov. 1 and Oct. 31 annually, while cities track the sales between Oct. 1 and Sept. 31, according to the Associated Press.

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