State sales tax revenue totaled $2.7 billion in October

Published 4:26 pm Tuesday, November 3, 2020

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AUSTIN — Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar said state sales tax revenue totaled $2.72 billion in October, 3.5 percent less than in October 2019.

The majority of October sales tax revenue is based on sales made in September and remitted to the agency in October.

“October sales tax collections from all major economic sectors declined significantly from year-ago levels, with the exception of collections from retail trade,” Hegar said. “The steepest declines were in receipts from oil- and gas-related sectors, with the rate of well drilling activity depressed almost 75 percent from the previous year.

“Receipts from the information sector were down, principally due to the federally mandated exemption of internet access charges from taxation. Receipts from retail trade increased, as adaptation to pandemic circumstances has spurred increased spending on building materials, home furnishings, sporting goods and alcohol for off-premise consumption, while spending at bars and entertainment venues has languished.

“Receipts from restaurants also remain down from a year ago, though significantly higher than in the spring, with some resumption of dine-in service after relaxation of capacity limits as well as increased sales of meals for pick up or delivery. In a departure from recent trends, receipts from clothing stores were up from a year ago for the first time since the onset of the pandemic.”

Total sales tax revenue for the three months ending in October 2020 was down 5.1 percent compared to the same period a year ago. Sales tax is the largest source of state funding for the state budget, accounting for 59 percent of all tax collections. The effects of the COVID-related economic slowdown were evident in other sources of revenue as well.

Texas collected the following revenue from other major taxes:

  • motor vehicle sales and rental taxes — $455 million, down 6.1 percent from October 2019;
  • motor fuel taxes — $286 million, down 8.3 percent from October 2019;
  • oil production tax — $200 million, down 42.2 percent from October 2019;
  • natural gas production tax — $57 million, down 32.9 percent from October 2019;
  • hotel occupancy tax — $33 million, down 33.3 percent from October 2019; and

• alcoholic beverage taxes — $88 million, down 24.2 percent from October 2019.