Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

January 24, 2014

City sales tax revenue flat for 4 months

April Barbe
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE — Jacksonville officials are awaiting the next sales tax revenue report in hopes that sales from December  2013 will give current numbers a boost.

Figures are provided by the State Comptroller's Office for a given reporting period.

According to City Manager Mo Raissi, the past four months' sales tax revenue has been fairly flat, with September being the last month Jacksonville saw an increase in revenue.

"We had a pretty good increase in September of 34 percent, but that was the last month of our (fiscal) year," which begins October 1, Raissi said.

Compared to cities like Rusk and Troup,  Jacksonville has some catching up to do, Raissi said.

One possible reason for the revenue results could be the city's proximity to Tyler, City Financial Director Freddy Thomas said.

"Tyler is always an issue for Jacksonville," Thomas said. "People who can afford it go to Tyler for shopping and entertainment."

Despite the non-peaking numbers, Thomas said the 2013 calendar year reflected an overall increase of $201,106, or approximately 6.22 percent.

It is the past four months, compared to the previous time period a year ago, the figures show a decline.

"For the four months ending January '14 to four months ending January '13, total sales tax revenue is down $16,590.88 or 1.61 percent," Thomas said.

The flat sales growth is attributed to "no growth in the environment at present," according to Thomas.

However, the newly opened Denny's, an incoming convenience store and two other incoming restaurants may help the situation soon, Thomas and Raissi implied.

Sales tax revenues will be released for December next month, Thomas said.