Monthly sales tax allocations from state continue increasing after 27-plus months

Another month, another sales tax boost for the City of Gladewater – it makes for more than two years’ worth of consecutive gains at this point.
Interim City Manager Charlie Smith’s been digging into the numbers. They’re encouraging, but they’re also a bit of a mystery after so much good news month-after-month… after month.
“I went back and looked, and I counted 27,” he said, “but honestly, I think there’s more.”
That’s 27 months that Gladewater’s sales tax allocation from the Texas Comptroller’s Office has shown growth year-to-year.
For example, this month Gladewater’s check is $130,426.95 on its 1.500% rate. The allocations are based on sales in January by businesses that report tax monthly. That puts the number for March 2024 at 6.35 percent more than March 2023, which netted $122,633.18 on sales two months prior.
So far this year, total sales tax allocations are almost 10 percent ahead of 2023’s by this time, $442,674.87 compared to $405,149.75.
According to a March 6 release from Comptroller Glenn Hegar, this month his office is distributing $981 million in monthly sales tax revenue to local governments, including cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose districts. Statewide, the number’s 2.2 percent less than in March 2023.
Elsewhere in Gregg County, other municipalities are seeing year-to-year declines, too. In March, only Warren City showed a gain alongside Gladewater’s while other communities ranged from a 7.64 percent decrease (Clarksville City) to a 25.42 percent March-to-March dip in Easton.
Nearby, the City of White Oak netted $118,286.94 for March 2024, a 10.72 percent decline from its $132,503.52 allocation check in March 2023.
Year-to-date, White Oak’s sales tax accrual has diminished by about 4 percent compared to the same time last year, netting $421,137.37 so far in ‘24.
Explaining the ups and downs often requires a crystal ball. A best guess will suffice, though, when it comes to looking a gift horse in the mouth.
“I went back to ‘20 and looked to get some comparisons,” Smith said, trying to divine some kind of explanation for the long-term increase here. “I think a lot of it is probably going to be due to inflation, and we’re getting more tax dollars because everything is costing so much more.
That said, “I’m seeing a lot more people in town than what I’ve seen in the past. You’ve got more people who are buying homes and living here and come to town,” with Gladewater reaping a piece of every hard-earned dollar that’s spent in the city limits.

– By James Draper

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