Tyler Sales Tax Revenue Shows Slight Decrease
By JACQUE HILBURN-SIMMONS
People are shopping in Tyler, but they seem to be buying houses instead of goods.
While some Tyler area homes are selling like hotcakes, sales tax revenue remains somewhat flat, reflecting a decline in revenues deposited for June.
Sales tax deposited this month amounted to $2.6 million, a .42 percent decrease compared to the same time period last year, and a 1.61 percent increase compared to the prior fiscal year-to-date totals, according to figures from the Texas Comptroller's Office.
The reported revenue is comprised of $1.7 million in general sales taxes and $874,589 in sales tax revenue.
The totals represent receipts from April 2012 collections as there is a two-month lag before taxes are reported and remitted back to the city from the state.
City officials were hoping for a solid increase that could help bring an end to the soft hiring freeze, but no.
"We are disappointed to see this slight decrease in collections," City Manager Mark McDaniel said. "We continue to see fluctuations in sales tax revenues so we are remaining very conservative in our expenditures and forecasting."
The year-to-date increase remains below the budget of 3 percent growth, the city manager said, adding, "We will continue with the soft hiring freeze that was put in place as a precautionary measure and postpone employee pay adjustments until we reach our goal for this fiscal year."
Better news was reported at the state level.
Texas Comptroller Susan Combs said state sales tax revenue in May was $2.09 billion, up 7.3 percent compared to May 2011.
"This marks 26 consecutive months of sales tax growth," Ms. Combs said in a statement. "As the recovery continues, the year-to-year rate of growth is stabilizing. Collections remain strong in the oil and n
atural gas-related sectors as well as other segments of the Texas economy such as the restaurant industry."
Ms. Combs sent local sales tax allocations totaling $514.1 million to cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts, up 9.7 percent compared to June 2011.
There also was good news in local real estate.
Tyler area home sales in May jumped 6.64 percent from the same time last year with 289 units sold last month, compared to 271 in May 2011, according to the Greater Tyler Association of Realtors.
The latest home sales also were a 14.23 percent hike from April when 253 houses were sold in the area.
While home sales signs point to a housing recovery, Tyler's sales tax revenue remains somewhat of a roller coaster.
Revenues last month decreased .76 percent compared to last May, resulting in a 1.84 percent cumulative year-to-date increase, the comptroller said.
The reported $3.2 million in revenue is comprised of $2.1 million in general sales tax revenue and $1 million in half-cent sales tax revenue.
It was good news at the state level -- state sales tax revenue in April amounted to about $2.07 billion, up 10.9 percent compared to April 2011, the comptroller's office said.
State sales tax allocations totaling $633 million to cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts, up 5.5 percent compared to May 2011.
Tyler's sales tax revenue deposited in April surged a whopping 10.86 percent from a year earlier.
The $2.7 million in reported revenue was composed of $1.8 million in general sales tax revenue and $900,773 in half-cent sales tax revenue, according to the comptroller's office.
The figures represented a 2.27-percent cumulative year-to-date increase
At the state level, Ms. Combs announced state sales tax revenue was $1.87 billion, up 16.9 percent compared to a year earlier. About $488.7 million in April in sales tax allocations were sent to cities, counties, transit systems and spe
cial purpose taxing districts, up 17 percent compared to April 2011.
Tyler sales tax revenues deposited in March increased 1.75 percent compared to the previous year, resulting in a modest 1.07 percent cumulative year-to-date increase.
The reported revenue of roughly $2.5 million was comprised of $1.7 million in general sales tax revenue and $856,435 in half-cent sales tax revenue, records show.
State sales tax revenue also was up, according to the comptroller's office, which tallied the revenue at $2.01 billion, up 14.8 percent compared to a year earlier.
March allocations to cities, counties, transit systems and special taxing districts totaled $473 million, a 9.3 percent increase from the previous year.
Tyler city employees first learned in January their anticipated pay increases weren't coming after incoming collections revealed a .8 percent decrease from a year earlier, resulting in only a 1.66 percent cumulative year-to-date increase.
The revenue, representing about $2.6 million, is comprised of $1.7 million in general sales tax revenue and $896,230 in
half-cent sales tax revenue.
Business editor Casey Murphy contributed to this report.