Sales tax revenues show increase

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Denton’s sales tax collections so far this year show a 15 percent increase or $2.8 million more than last year’s collections at the same time.

July sales reflect a 21 percent increase in sales tax revenues or $2,082,188 million, which is higher than the city’s budgeted projection.

In June, the city had only a 7.26 percent or $2.3 million increase in sales tax revenues, according to the city’s data.

Despite the large increases, at least one professor says the average person remains cautious though the numbers show promise.

Bryan Langley, the city’s finance director, says the sales tax figures have shown higher numbers likely due to an audit adjustment.

During the first 10 months of the fiscal year, the data shows a variance of 45.76 percent or $653,708, above what the city received as of July 2011, said Bryan Langley, the city’s finance director.

“However, this increase is distorted by a $407,000 audit adjustment payment that was netted from our receipts in July 2011,” Langley said.

Even with the audit adjustment, sales tax collections for the month of July are 13.4 percent higher than last year.

“But this increase is more consistent with what we have experienced during the year so far,” Langley said.

Texas sales tax revenue in July (for monthly sales made in June) was $2.34 billion, an 18.5 percent increase compared with 2011 figures. July sales tax allocations also showed double-digit increases statewide for cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts, according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts office.

Last week in a statement, Texas Comptroller Susan Combs said the strong oil and gas industry and retail spending trend boosted the monthly sales tax revenue.

Denton County received $76.5 million in sales tax revenues from January to July this year — a 15.59 percent increase above the same period in 2011, according to the state’s report.

Dee Leggett, Denton County Transit Authority’s communications and planning vice president, said the trend was good news. The DCTA also experienced a 13.06 percent increase in sales taxes this month as compared to 2011.

Dr. Robert Bland, chair of the University of North Texas Public Administration Department, said there was definitely momentum in the local and state economy and served as a sign for future employment on the horizon.

“A lot of people say the numbers are good, but they don’t yet feel it in their pocketbooks,” Bland said.

He said although the Texas economy was not as affected by the recession, the overall economy is still feeling the effects of the 2007-08 economic downturn.

“What we see is that it was a very deep and extensive recession that affected many sectors of the economy. It will take longer to repair the damage and restore confidence in the consumer for things to get back to normal.

KARINA RAMÍREZ can be reached at 940-566-6878. Her e-mail address is kramirez@dentonrc.com


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