By Tommy Mann Jr. – For The Record

Despite recent figures, sales tax revenue, as a whole has been on the increase for most of 2016 in Orange County and especially in Bridge City.

Sales tax revenue may have increased across the state based on the most recent information provided by the State Comptroller, but figures were down overall in Orange County based on the most recent release of sales tax revenue.

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced recently he will send cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts $591.4 million in local sales tax allocations for April, 2.6 percent more than in April 2015. These allocations are based on sales made in February by businesses that report tax monthly. A total of $791,454.48 would be sent to the seven incorporated cities of Orange County, which is nearly six percent below figures for the year to date.

“The cities of Dallas, Austin, Sugar Land and Fort Worth saw substantial increases in sales tax allocations that helped stop a four-month streak of declining sales tax allocations for the state overall,” Hegar said. “Energy-centric cities such as Houston and Midland continue to see decreases in sales tax allocations.”

When previous sales tax payments have been so dramatically different, as is the case with Bridge City and possibly Orange, there is usually a discrepancy which needs to be resolved between cities in the same county or maybe an incorrect payment amount was sent to another municipality and needs to be adjusted.

Bridge City received a smaller than usual payment this month, as it received approximately $124,000 for April, or a decrease of more than $195,000, or 61.05 percent, from April of last year. The city is 26.23 percent behind for the year to date. However, the amount of more than $320,000 it received in April of 2015 was an overpayment by the state comptroller and is not typical of the normal monthly allotment.

“The reason the amount is so different is because last year was an adjustment made by the State Comptroller’s office,” said Jerry Jones, City Manager of Bridge City. “The city had been shorted on several payments, and that adjustment was made to even things out. We are still ahead on what should be a normal payment for this time. We have had a lot of sales tax being added to the city with the new apartment complex and new housing being constructed. The economy in Bridge City is pretty strong right now.”

In February of this year, Bridge City received more than $157,000 which was a 6 percent increase of February 2015. In March, the city received a sales tax payment of more than $101,000 which was a 3 percent increase compared to March of 2015. The most recent payment of more than $124,000 falls right in line with a typical sales tax payment and shows the economy in Bridge City is holding steady, if not continuously improving over 2015 figures.

“I’m usually the first one to know when things are not going very well in our business community,” said B.J. Hanneman of the Bridge City Chamber of Commerce. “The businesses will usually contact me and tell me if things are slow and ask what the chamber can do to help. Nobody is complaining about slow business.”

According to Hanneman, if anything, business seems to be improving throughout the Bridge City business community.

“From the number of new businesses popping up in Bridge City and the amount of traffic we have coming through the city, everything seems to be going well,” she continued. “Retail businesses and restaurants are really doing well from what I’ve heard, so I would have to say the economy is Bridge City is in good shape.”

The City of Rose City had a 37.92% increase compared to figures from April 2015 and is 23.60 percent ahead for the year to date. The City of Vidor received a sales tax payment of $195,554.54 for the month of April, which is an increase of more than $24,400, or 14.25 percent, from this time last year. Vidor leads all Orange County communities at 8.44 percent above 2015 figures for the year-to-date.

Pinehurst received a sales tax allocation of $49,929.10, almost $2,000 more than this time last year and is 7.02 percent ahead of 2015 figures for the year. Pine Forest had a slight decrease of 7.07 percent for the month compared to April of 2015, but remains 3.54 percent ahead for the year. West Orange received $92,995.57 from the state comptroller’s office, which is approximately $2,700 more than April of last year. The city is 3.13 ahead for the year to date with $397,146.51 received in sales tax payments.

The City of Orange experienced a significant decrease for the month as it received a sales tax payment of $301,287.77 for the month of April, a decrease of 25.56 percent, and is 10.95 percent behind for the year to date.

City

Current

Rate

Net Payment

This Period

Comparable Payment

Prior Year

% Change

2016 Payments

To Date

2015 Payments

To Date

% Change

Bridge City

1.500%

124,750.90

320,336.88

-61.05%

491,109.35

665,762.66

-26.23%

Orange

1.500%

301,287.77

404,785.36

-25.56%

1,223,231.35

1,373,738.52

-10.95%

Pine Forest

1.500%

3,571.60

3,843.60

-7.07%

19,331.50

18,668.93

3.54%

Pinehurst

1.500%

49,929.10

47,977.89

4.06%

222,208.82

207,628.07

7.02%

Rose City

1.500%

23,365.00

16,940.97

37.92%

97,974.61

79,267.46

23.60%

Vidor

1.500%

195,554.54

171,151.58

14.25%

870,084.02

802,349.90

8.44%

West Orange

1.250%

92,995.57

90,298.94

2.98%

397,146.51

385,086.04

3.13%

County Total

 

791,454.48

1,055,335.22

-25.00%

3,321,086.16

3,532,501.58

-5.98%