El Campo’s economy rebounded strongly, rising from a 2 percent drop in October to a more than 15 percent gain in a single month, according to the city’s main economic indicator.
That’s good news, officials say, especially since November’s sales tax rebate check reflects purchases paid for in August.
“We received great news this week, with sales tax up nearly 15.5 percent from the comparable payment for the prior year, or around $57,120. In spite of a decrease last month, this increase puts the current fiscal year to date change at 6 percent over last year’s figures,” City Manager Courtney Sladek said.
“We budgeted the same revenue for sales tax for the current fiscal year as we did for the prior fiscal year, so any increase could result in a surplus,” she added.
Sales tax is monitored closely by city officials.
“We continue to remain cautiously optimistic as we move into the holiday season,” Sladek said. “We encourage our residents to shop local. Not only does it help the local businesses, but it helps the city fund our core services.”
The State Comptroller’s Office rebated $426,569 to the City of El Campo, its 1.5 percent cut of the 8.5 percent sales tax charged on purchases. The check is 15.46 percent higher than the $369,449 rebated in 2019.
For the calendar year, El Campo sales tax rebates are up 6.39 percent from 2019.
El Campo ended the 2019 calendar year up 10.11 percent on sales tax rebates.
In 2018, El Campo sales tax rebates were up about 9 percent. The last year that ended with a sales tax loss was 2016, when collections were down 3.41 percent.
Sales tax rebates are the second largest revenue source for the municipal budget, paying into the General Fund which covers everything from printer ribbons to fuel in patrol cars.
Other Wharton County Reports
Wharton County’s sales tax rebate rose 3.46 percent in November and are now up 3.78 percent for the year.
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 city of Wharton’s return was up 6.77 percent in November, but remains down just slightly at -0.33 percent in comparison to 2019. 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’s check rose 1.03 percent this month. So far this year, East Bernard’s sales tax rebates are up 7.56 percent.
The city recorded a 13.55 percent jump in 2019. That city’s rebates were up 20.9 percent in 2018.