Far from the disastrous dives of The Great Recession, decreases in the City of Kilgore’s monthly sales tax allocations aren’t ringing alarm bells at City Hall.
Rather, they’re an indication the community is back on par with where its sales tax revenues should be, Kilgore City Manager Josh Selleck said; even in a healthy economy the checks from the state won’t continually show increases year-to-year.
On Wednesday, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced he’s distributing $782.1 million to taxing entities across the state. It’s a 10.1 percent increase compared to June 2018, based on sales made in April by businesses that report tax monthly.
In Kilgore, this month’s allocation of $801,239.51 is an 8.48% decline compared to the same month in 2018.
However, that check was 43.1 percent larger than June 2017, which itself showed an increase of 30.38 percent over the same month in 2016 – recovery numbers.
“It could be that last year was a banner month for June, and we’re seeing more of a normal return for this month,” Selleck added.
For the calendar year, Kilgore has collected $5.1 million, of which two-thirds go to City Hall, the remainder to Kilgore Economic Development Corporation.
In June’s check, “We had about $8,000 in audit collections,” Selleck noted, which doesn’t have a substantial impact on the year-to-year comparison. Rather, “As we start comparing current year months to prior year months that already represented the increase from the downturn, we’re going to see fluctuations like this.
“Eight percent doesn’t scare me at this point. It’s something we’re going to keep an eye on, and we’ll see what the cause of the decrease is.”
For the fiscal year, the City of Kilgore has netted $5.5 million, almost 90 percent of the $6.1 million projection for FY2019, with three months left for collections.
Surplus sales tax dollars are used on non-priority projects that can be but on the backburner in lean years.
Looking ahead, most likely “We’re back into a normal comparison,” Selleck said, and the local sales tax rollercoaster moves forward with expected ups and downs. “It’s a reflection on the fact that we have big businesses that make up a majority of our sales taxpayers, so that fluctuation is typical for what we’ve seen in the past.”