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COVID not slowing down shopping

By Dawn Burleigh

While cases of COVID-19 increase throughout the state, it is not stopping people from shopping according to the sales tax numbers for this period. Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar will send cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts $908.7 million in local sales tax allocations for August, 3.6 percent more than in August 2019. These allocations are based on sales made in June by businesses that report tax monthly and on sales made in April, May and June by quarterly filers.

Widespread social distancing requirements were more relaxed across the state in June than in previous months.

All cities, save Vidor and Rose City, saw double digit increases in sales tax revenue for this payment compared to the 2019 payment for the same period. Vidor still saw an increase of 9.34% when comparing $302,973.33 in 2019 to $331,295.81 in 2020. The city of Vidor still saw a double digit increase for year to date (YTD) payments of 11.18% when comparing $2,121,130.99 in YTD payments in 2019 to the YTD payments of $2,358,388.63 in 2020.

Rose City did not fare so well with a less than one percent decrease in sales tax revenue in this period when comparing $19,170.77 in 2019 to $18,990.87 in 2020. For YTD, Rose City received 22.44% less in 2019 than in 2020 when comparing $159,117.94 in 2019 to $123,397.45 in 2020.

Pine Forest saw the highest increase for this period at 56.10% for payments when comparing $10,520.13 in 2019 to $16,422.02 in 2020. For YTD, the city saw a significant increase of 25.43% with $80,363.76 payments YTD in 2019 to $100,804.24  YTD payments in 2020.

The City of Orange also saw a significant increase for this period compared to the same period last year with a 23.55% increase in sales tax revenue. Last year for this period, the city received $467,753 and this year the payment is $577,920.94, a difference of $112,167.94.

Orange County also had an increase at 24.51% when comparing $433,483.01 payments in 2019 to $539,748.18 in 2020. Payments YTD are also up by 7.12%.

Cities across Texas were up 5% from August 2019 payments while for YTD, cities were only up by less than 1% overall.

Texas counties were up less than one percent both in the current allocations and the year to date payment.