Latest sales tax check resumes upward climb

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With this week’s sales tax allocation from the state, the first quarter of 2019 in the City of Kilgore is outperforming last year by almost 16 percent.

This month’s check from the Texas Comptroller’s Office totals $892,277.06, a 34.6 percent increase compared to the $663,053.39 of March 2018.

On the whole, Gregg County is faring better: countywide collections for January through March are $4.35 billion, 10.28 percent more than 2018’s first quarter.

Statewide, comptroller Glenn Hegar announced Wednesday his office is distributing almost $712 million in monthly sales tax revenue to taxing entities across the state in March, a 6.1 percent increase compared to the same time last year. The allocations are based on January sales made by businesses that report tax monthly.

In Kilgore, the first five months of Fiscal Year 2019 – running Oct. 1 through Sept. 30 – have drawn total collections of $4.84 million (despite a year-to-year decline in February’s check). The City of Kilgore takes two-thirds of the gross, while Kilgore Economic Development Corporation nets the remainder.

On the city’s side collections so far put the community at 52.87 percent of the $6.1 million projection for the fiscal year.

Notably, Kilgore City Manager Josh Selleck said Thursday, this month’s allocation includes a $75,000 audit adjustment, though it doesn’t have a drastic impact on the overall figures.

“Good numbers,” he said. “Basically what we’re seeing from month to month is that we have a highly dynamic sales tax stream now. Most of it has to do with the monies that appeared to be in recovery at first.

“That said, we have recovered to a degree.”

Like last month and months before, the local sales tax trend is positive, with (for the most part) consistent year-to-year increases in the monthly checks from the comptroller’s office.

“Anytime you get more money than you budgeted for, it’s positive.”

Surplus funds continue to fuel road projects that, were there a drop in revenues, could be set-aside to a later date.

Chandler Street improvements are being covered by the sales tax boon, Selleck noted, and the city is earmarking excess dollars for the coming large-scale rehabilitation of Main Street, still a couple of years down the road.

“This is all part of the big picture that we’ve been talking about.”

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