Tyler Disappointed With Sales Tax Revenue
By JACQUE HILBURN-SIMMONS
Tyler sales tax rates deposited this month dipped again, disappointing local officials who hoped for a solid increase and an end to the soft hiring freeze.
Revenues decreased .76 percent compared to last May, resulting in a 1.84 percent cumulative year-to-date increase, according to the Texas State Comptroller's office.
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. The totals represent receipts from March 2012 collections as there is a two-month lag before taxes are reported and remitted back to the city from the state.
"We are disappointed to see this slight decrease in collections after experiencing an almost 11 percent increase last month," City Manager Mark McDaniel said. "The economy is slowly recovering; however, we are seeing significant fluctuations in sales tax revenues."
As a result, city officials are being ultra conservative in expenditures and early work on next year's budget.
"The year-to-date increase of 1.84 percent is still below our budget of 3 percent growth," the manager said. "At this time, we will continue with the soft hiring freeze that was put in place as a precautionary measure to ensure we are keeping our expenses in balance with current revenues. In addition, we will continue the postponement of employee pay adjustments until we reach our goal of 3 percent growth."
Numbers were up at the state level, however.
Texas Comptroller Susan Combs announced state sales tax revenue in April amounted to about $2.07 billion, up 10.9 percent compared to April 2011.
"Sales tax revenue has now increased for 25 consecutive months," Ms. Combs said in a prepared statement. "Recent strength in sales tax collections continued in both business and consumer spending categories. Growth was led by the oil and natural gas-related sectors, while significant gains also came from retail trade and restaurants."
Ms. Combs will send May local 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 was sent to cities, counties, transit systems and special 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 was also 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.
The disappointing revenues deposited in February reflected a 1.01 percent decrease as compared to February 2011, resulting in a 0.95 percent cumulative year-to-date increase, records show. The reported revenue of roughly $3.8 million is comprised of about $2.5 million in general sales tax revenue and $1.2 million in half-cent sales tax revenue, officials said.
There was also good news at the state level for that same time period as Ms. Combs announced revenues in excess of $2 billion, up 9.5 percent.
Tyler city employees first learned in January their anticipated pay increases weren't coming after incoming collections revealed a 0.8 percent decrease from a year earlier, resulting in only a 1.66 percent cumulative year-to-date increase.
The revenue represented about $2.6 million is composed of $1.7 million in general sales tax revenue and $896,230 in half-cent sales tax revenue.