sales tax

The Shop LOCAL! movement continues to pay dividends with one of its major economic indicators showing gains yet again.

The $369,889 sales tax rebate sent from State Comptroller Glenn Hegar’s office showed a 9.26 percent gain this month in comparison to July 2019. The rebate is based on sales made in May.

For the calendar year, El Campo’s sales tax rebates stand at almost $2.6 million, up 8.83 percent.

“While we continue to see increases, month after month, I recognize that this growth appears to be a trend,” City Manager Courtney Sladek told the newspaper. “We are still conservatively budgeting and monitoring this revenue source. Sales tax is our largest revenue source but can also be the most volatile.”

Sales tax dollars in El Campo are folded into the General Fund for operating expenditures with a portion re-directed to the City Development Corporation of El Campo.

When more sales tax revenue than expected comes into the City of El Campo, it is traditionally used for capital expenditures while staff judges whether to increase expectations for the coming year.

“While we are raising the revenue estimate for sales tax for next year, we are still budgeting with a modest increase of 4 percent. Our increase from the previous year (fiscal year to date) is over 6 percent,” Sladek said. “These funds will help us support capital equipment and projects for next year, such as improvements to our streets and parks.”

The most recent payment reflects El Campo’s 1.5 percent cut of the sales tax paid on qualifying items during the month of April.

The El Campo economy has shown gains 23 of the last 28 months.

Throughout 2018, El Campo sales tax rebates were up about 9 percent in comparison to 11 percent in 2017. Prior to that, sales tax rebates had fallen for several years.

Other Wharton County Reports

Wharton County’s rebates were down 1.94 percent in July. For the calendar year, the county’s rebate on a half percent of sales tax levied is down 7.03 percent from last year.

For 2018, sales taxes were up just .43 percent. The county finished 2017 up 11.6 percent from 2016.

The city of Wharton’s check fell 13.76 percent gain this month. The city is down 5.72 percent for the year. In 2018, the city’s rebates were up 6.38 percent. In 2017, the town’s rebate dropped 4.8 percent.

East Bernard’s rebate soared 44.94 percent in July in what is likely to be a comptroller adjustment. For the calendar year, that city’s rebates are up 11.41 percent. The city’s rebates were up 20.9 percent in 2018. Statewide sales tax rebates were largely steady, up .7 percent more than July 2018. Overall, $764.3 million was rebated to cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts.

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