Shoppers sent El Campo’s main economic indicator soaring before the official start of the holiday buying season.

Purchases city, county and statewide are tracked by the 8.25 percent sales tax paid, a portion of which is rebated back by the state comptroller’s office.

This month, Comptroller Glenn Hegar sent the City of El Campo a $504,362 check, the municipality’s 1.5 percent portion of sales tax paid during September. The check is 18.23 percent higher than the $426,569 payment made in November 2020.

“What a great way to start the fiscal year, far exceeding revenue expectations,” City Manager Courtney Sladek told the Leader-News. “This was not expected, given that last month only saw a 1 percent increase.”

For the calendar year, the city’s sales tax rebates are 14.69 percent higher than 2020, $4.4 million to $5 million.

Last year, El Campo sales tax rebates were up 6.94 percent from 2019. The last year El Campo experienced a sales tax loss was 2016, when collections were down 3.41 percent.

Sales tax is the largest single revenue fund for the city of El Campo. Part of the General Fund budget, sales tax helps pay for everything from street lights to police cars.

Sustained sales tax growth helps offset property tax levies. Better than expected sales tax revenue in a single year is generally used for one time purchases like park improvements.

“We’ll keep our eyes closely on this revenue source, but very pleased when we saw the figures for this month,” Sladek said.


County Reports

Wharton County’s half-cent sales tax rebate rose 26.4 percent from November 2020, after an 8.89 percent gain in October.

With this month’s $363,917 rebate, the year-to-date sales tax returns are up from $3 million in 2020 to $3.8 million, a 28.23 percent gain.

The county finished 2020 up 3.73 percent. The year 2019 was stagnant, up just 0.61 percent.

The city of Wharton’s sales tax rebate leaped $19.09 percent from $212,145 to $252,662. The city’s 2021 returns are up 15.55 percent, with $2,448,642 rebated.

Wharton ended 2020 with sales tax rebates down 0.29 percent in comparison to 2019.

The City of East Bernard received a $56,464 check in November, up 24.03 percent leap from last year. For the calendar year, the city’s rebates are down .54 percent from $495,447 to $492,726.

East Bernard ended 2020 with sales tax rebates up 7.17 percent. The city recorded a 13.55 percent jump in 2019.

Statewide, the comptroller’s office sent $1.07 billion in November rebates, 20.6 percent more than in November 2020.

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