Economic indicators show El Campo’s economy off to a slow start in 2020, but officials aren’t worried – next month will bring a rebate reflecting sales tax paid by holiday shoppers.
The state comptroller’s office sent out $320,950.11 this month to the City of El Campo. The check reflects its cut of sales tax dollars November shoppers spent in the municipal limits, a 1.6 percent gain over January 2019.
“We’re expecting returns to pick up in February,” El Campo City Manager Courtney Sladek said, adding that “the first quarter (of El Campo’s 2019-2020 fiscal year) was very good for the city.”
The El Campo economy has shown gains 29 of the last 34 months, ending the 2019 calendar year up 10.11 percent. In 2018, El Campo sales tax rebates were up about 9 percent in comparison to 11 percent in 2017.
Officials attribute much of that gain to the Shop LOCAL! campaign, led by the City Development Corporation of El Campo in partnership with the city, chamber and El Campo Leader-News.
Collecting more sales tax dollars is one of two ways to help lesson the burden on homeowners, the other being increasing the overall tax base.
“We will continue to work on increasing sales tax revenue and awareness of keeping those dollars in El Campo and Wharton County,” City Development Corporation Executive Director Carolyn Gibson said.
El Campo collects 1.5 percent of the 8.25 percent sales tax paid on most items. A quarter cent of that is re-directed to the CDC for economic development efforts.
Other Wharton County Reports
Wharton County’s economy started the new year with 2.62 percent decline on the January check sent out by the comptroller’s office. The county finished 2019 up just .61 percent more than in 2018, the second year of an almost stagnant economy. For 2018, county sales taxes were up .43 percent. The county finished 2017 up 11.6 percent from 2016.
The city of Wharton started the year up 9.19 percent in January. The town ended 2019 down 1.89 percent. In 2018, the city’s rebates were up 6.38 percent. In 2017, Wharton dropped 4.8 percent.
East Bernard started the year with a 12.89 percent gain in its sales tax rebates. The city recorded a 13.55 percent jump in 2019. That city’s rebates were up 20.9 percent in 2018.