Tommy Mann Jr. – For The Record

Six of the seven incorporated cities in Orange County showed growth in sales this past May, according to the State’s latest sales tax report.

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced earlier this month he would send cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts $624 million in local sales tax allocation for July, which is 2.3 percent more than in July of 2015. These allocations are based on sales made in May by businesses which report tax monthly.

“The cities of Dallas, San Antonio, Austin and Fort Worth saw noticeable increases in sales tax allocation,” Hegar stated in a press release. “Energy-centric cities such as Houston and Midland continue to see decreases in sales tax allocations.”

Although Orange County is within driving distance of the Houston-area, the county, as a whole, showed a sizable increase based on the latest reports with an increase of 13.33 percent, or approximately $99,000, for the month.

Ida Schossow, president of the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce, believes a certain program is helping increase sales tax figures throughout the county, and especially in Orange.

“We believe the Shop Orange County initiative that we started two years ago is definitely helping,” Schossow explained. “It’s not only made the community more aware of local businesses, but it has made people more aware of the importance of shopping locally at these businesses and how it directly impacts our local economy.”

The City of Orange had the largest reported increase based on the July sales tax report with an increase of 19.65 percent, or nearly $56,000 when compared to July of 2015. For the year-to-date, the City of Orange remains 1.42 percent ahead when compared to this time last year.

The City of Bridge City had a sizable increase for the month as well as it will receive a payment of $123,427.92 for the month of July, which is an increase of 10.63 percent compared to this time last year.

The City of Vidor continues its trend of monthly sales tax increases as the city will receive $211,992.16 for the month of July, which is an increase of 13.62 percent, or more than $25,400 compared to July of 2015. The City of Vidor is 7.74 percent ahead of figures from 2015 for the year-to-date as well.

The City of Pinehurst will receive a payment of $47,261.53 for the month of July, which is an increase of 5.78 percent compared to July of last year. The city remains 3.85 percent ahead for the year-to-date as well.

The City of West Orange had an increase of 2.89 percent for the month of July, as it will receive $92,731.86 for the month. For the year-to-date, the City of West Orange is 1.35 percent ahead past figures.