Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

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July 11, 2014

Troup reports growing sales tax revenue

TROUP — Summer is becoming a period of sweet repeat for Troup citizens: For the second consecutive month, the city has posted an amount increase in sales tax revenue from the State Comptroller's office.

Numbers released this month from the agency reflect sales tax revenues for May.

In 2014, Troup's July allocation check was $34,560.73, or 25.5 percent ($7,035.16), more than the July 2013 allotment of $27,525.57.

Mayor Bill Lacy, who was sworn into office two months ago, said the news was like “getting a birthday card in the mail.”

“This money goes back to the city and that definitely helps us, because it makes it easier to do projects,” he explained.

A one-percent tax collected by the city is placed into the operating budget, while a half-percent tax assessed by Troup Community Develo-pment Corporation is put directly into projects benefitting the city. Past projects supported street re-paving programs and refurbishment of a holding tank for the city water department.

This year, their portion of the allocation money is helping fund a study of traffic patterns in town, TCDC president Gary Salyer said in a June interview with the newspaper.

This past month, the city received an allocation check for $40,708, the second largest June payment in its history, according to City Manager Gene Cottle, who said the numbers reflected shoppers support of local businesses.

Lacy said with the large amount of oil and gas activity in the area lately, he believes those workers are coming into Troup and patronizing the city's businesses.

“They buy gas, they eat at the restaurants in town, shop for every day things,” he said.

The mayor added he felt the increase also was due to support of citizens choosing to shop locally, especially those who have sought out residency in what they believe is a prime school district.

“We're one of the top two schools in Smith County, and I think that helps a lot, because people want their best for their kids so they come here to live,” Lacy said, adding that employees working manufacturing jobs in and around Troup also contribute heavily.

“And one thing kind of unique about this town is that we have a lot of industry here – Tyler Woodworks, McElroy Plastics … most little towns don't have those kinds of businesses,” he said.

Earlier this week, the city council got its first peek at a preliminary budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year.  The council does not want to raise taxes or water and sewer rates, and will be working hard to ensure that it remains roughly the same as this year's $2.475 million budget, Cottle recently said.

Lacy agreed. “We don't want to raise taxes, yet we do want to keep the services the same or improve them … (these increased monthly allocations) will give us money to work with.”

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