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More sales tax money to be available for city's next fiscal year

By Brian Cuaron
May 21, 2011 at 12:21 a.m.
Updated May 20, 2011 at 12:20 a.m.


HOW SALES TAX REVENUE IS CALCULATEDThe Texas Comptroller's office allocates sales tax revenue almost two months after it's collected from consumers.

For example, let's say you bought something in March. The store has until April 20 to get the sales tax to the Texas Comptroller's office, which then allocates portions of that money in May to city and county governments.

So the sales tax revenue that the Texas Comptroller's office is reporting for May is actually a reflection of what was purchased in March.

Source: R.J. DeSilva, Texas Comptroller's office

The city of Victoria should have more money in next year's budget, thanks to an increase in sales tax revenue.

Victoria's sales tax revenues have increased about $1.6 million compared with this time last year, according to figures released by the Texas Comptroller's office. In fact, the revenue collected so far this year is $500,312.80 more than it was by this time in 2008, which is when the decline in sales tax revenue began.

The state overall has had an increase in sales tax revenue for 13 consecutive months, Texas Comptroller Susan Combs said in a news release. However, a spokesman said Texas has not reached the sales tax revenue level that it had in 2007 and 2008.

"Back in those years the state was going through a huge economic boom," Texas comptroller spokesman R.J. DeSilva said. "But we're doing better than we've been doing for the last year or two."

The reason for the increase is because of more business spending in the oil and gas sectors, as well as retail spending by consumers, according to the news release.

While the city is collecting more revenue right now, it won't feel its effect until the next fiscal year, said Gilbert P. Reyna Jr., city of Victoria chief financial officer. That begins after city staff presents a proposed budget to the city council on Aug. 2., and budget workshops are scheduled before that time.

The city's fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.

While sales tax revenue is going up, though, property taxes remain stagnant, Reyna said. Yet he said that the increased sales tax revenue, which is now the biggest moneymaker for the city, will help offset fuel, personnel and other costs.

Meanwhile, Victoria County has had a sales tax revenue increase of $786,669.06 compared to this time last year. It also has an increase of $387,119.10 compared to this time in 2008.

Clay Atchison, owner of McAdams Floral on East Red River Street, said he's noticed the increase but does not think customers will notice the slight change.

"We've had an increase compared to last May," he said. "I just finished paying one of my sales tax disbursements, and it was a pretty big number."

Every month, Atchison has to pay his sale tax, and that's when the sales tax increase becomes evident.

"The number has been so small that it's not really noticed by the customer," he said. "We notice because we have a huge number to deal with."

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