Allocation sales up for most cities and counties

Sales tax allocation to the city and counties is on the rise, according to June 2022 Sales Tax Comparison Summary Reports released by the Office of Texas Comptroller Glenn Hager earlier this month.

Reports show monthly local sales data and use tax payments to local jurisdictions. Payments represent funds identified for local jurisdictions since the previous month’s distribution. June allocations are based on sales made in April by businesses that file tax monthly.

Most cities in Hardin, Jefferson and Orange counties saw their allocations increase from the June 2021 figure. Hardin County, Sour Lake and Kountze saw increases in their allocations from the same period in 2021

According to reports, Sour Lake saw a 14.16% increase in its net allocations this period, from $87,124 in 2021 to $99,468 this year.

The city also posted a 5.34% increase in allocations since the beginning of the year, going from $548,636 to $577,952.

City Manager Jack Provost said the city has had “a good few months.”

“We usually average around $70,000 to $75,000 a month,” he said. “For two months in a row, we had over $100,000.”

Provost attributes the increased allowance to money being spent on new businesses and people buying new homes, which translates to more people shopping locally.

“We now have an O’Reilly’s and several other new retail businesses, a restaurant and a tavern,” he said. “A lot of little things add up to big things.”

Provost added that a lot of construction work was going on in and around the city.

“Construction is probably up about 20% from last year. We have an addition east of the city limits that we supply water to,” he said. “They’re building about 90 houses and they already have about 37. They’ve already pulled all their permits on everything.

Inside the city limits, Provost said there has been a 20% increase in permits so far this year.

“Everybody wants to be in Sour Lake,” he said. “And that’s going to require more business. The more people you have, the more companies need to be there to prevent them from going elsewhere. You want to keep all your income here at home.

In reports, Kountze showed a 9.3% increase from $50,182 in 2021 to $54,852. The city also saw a 26.74% increase in the payment year-to-date, from $338,275 to $428,748 last year.

Lumberton is showing a 1.13% decrease in allocations this period, from $394,725 in 2021 to $390,231 this year. The city’s year-to-date payment is up 5.36% from $2.33 million last year to $2.45 million.

“Hopefully it continues to grow more and more,” City Manager Steve Clark said.

Clark attributes the increase to more people shopping and spending locally.

“That’s what drives a lot of our sales tax revenue,” he said. “We have more people coming in every year and we create on average at least 100 new houses every year. With each of these houses comes a mom, dad and children. As long as they buy locally, we will benefit.

Clark also said there are a lot of companies on “the radar.”

“Until they come and withdraw a permit it’s hard to say what’s happening and things can change,” he said.

He said the town had several small businesses and possibly a 5-acre complex south of the high school.

“No company has withdrawn licenses yet,” Clark added. “We just hear rumors through the vineyard and I don’t talk about it when I hear rumours.”

The City Manager noted that some commercial businesses are expanding and residential growth continues. Another bank and a car wash are under construction, according to Clark.

“On car washes, we get something if they buy product,” he added. “At the banks, we get something if they eat, buy gas or shop. That’s where we get our money from.

Silsbee posted a 6.81% decrease in payout this period compared to 2021. During this period, the city reported $282,236 compared to $302,985 in 2021.

The city is showing a slight increase in payments year-to-date, from $1.818 million to $1.819 million.

No figures have been released for Hardin County.

In Jefferson County, the report shows a slight 1.6% decrease in allocations from this time last year. During this period, the county brought in $2.8 million, up from $2.853 million in June 2021.

Beaumont reported an increase of 0.83% this period, from $3.648 million last year to $3.679 million. In payment year-to-date, the city said $26.525 million, up 20.67% from $21.757 million in 2021.

For Port Arthur, the city reported a 2.82% drop in allocations this period compared to 2021. The city is showing $1.625 million, down from $1.672 million last year. But the city has a 26.30% increase in its payment year-to-date, from $8.9 million in 2021 to $11.25 million this year.

Among cities in Jefferson County, the summary shows Port Neches has the largest percentage increase in allocations this period compared to 2021. The city will receive $277,974 – a 79.63% increase – up from $154,974 at the same time last year.

Orange County reported a 9.72% increase in allocations this period to $566,237 from $516,065 in 2021.

Within the department, the city of Orange recorded the largest increase in allocations for the period. According to the data, the city receives $705,963, up 29.36% from $545,697 last year. In year-to-date payments, the city has a 14.64% increase, from $3.41 million in 2021 to $3.91 million this year.

Statewide, total net allocations this period were $647 billion, up from $585 billion in 2021, an increase of 10.51%. Total year-to-date allocations show a 16.8% increase from $3.395 billion in 2021 to $3.965 billion.

James V. Hayes