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County’s sales tax income climbs 4.9 percent

LIVINGSTON – Following eight months of declining sales tax revenue, Polk County has now posted three consecutive months of growth including a strong 4.9 percent gain in December.

According toa report issued by Texas Comptroller Susan Combs, Polk County's December rebate check totalled $175,906.07, a figure that was up from the December 2013 payment by $8,148.15 or almost 4.9 percent.

The increase follows a $319.99 or 0.2 percent gain in October and a $5,246 or 2.9 percent growth in November. The only other month the county sales tax posted a gain over 2013 was the January payment, which was up by $6,425.98 or 4.1 percent from the year before.

The lastest payment is the highest ever received by the county in December, topping the old record of $167,756.92 received in December 2013.

Since Jan. 1, the county has received almost $2.1 million from the sales tax, a figure that is down by $297,272.66 or almost 12.6 percent from the almost $2.4 million collected during 2013.
Combs' office collects the county and city sales taxes along with the state tax and sends the local entities a rebate for their share each month.

Polk County collects a 0.5 percent tax on sales while the cities of Livingston, Onalaska and Corrigan assess a 1.5 percent tax. Goodrich and Seven Oaks each have a 1 percent sales tax.

The December check represents taxes collected by local merchants in October and reported to the comptroller in November by monthly filers.

While the county's sales tax income increased in December, three of its five cities also reported gains. Onalaska's rebate was up by over 35.4 percent, Goodrich's total increased by almost 21.1 percent and Seven Oaks was up by 403.8 percent compared to one year ago. However, Livingston's rebate was dosn by 2.1 percent and Corrigan's payment fell by almost 22.9 percent.

Livingston received a December rebate totaling $262,766.61, a figure that was down by $5,663.36 from the $268,429.97 received in December 2013. During the year, the city has received $3.3 million from the tax, a figure that is down by $326,371.43 or 8.97 percent from 2013.

With a rebate of $39,354.40, Onalaska's sales tax check was up by $10,295.33 or 35.4 percent from the $29,059.07 reported one year earlier. During 2014, Onalaska received $495,757.10, a total that is up by $45,801.95 or almost 10.2 percent from 2013.

Corrigan's December sales tax rebate was $26,129.42, which was down by $7,752.32 from the $33,881.74 received in December 2013. Since Jan. 1, Corrigan has received $370,328.46 in sales tax income, a figure that is up by $8,555.20 or almost 2.4 percent 2013.

During December Goodrich received $2,677.36 in sales tax income, which was up by $466.32 from the $2,211.04 received in December 2013. The 2014 total for Goodrich now stands at $26,288.79, which is up by $3,691.03 or 16.3 percent from 2013.

Seven Oaks received $588.01 in December, which was up by $471.30 from the $116.71 received one year ago. The year-to-date total for Seven Oaks is $7,343.10, which is up by $4,094.68 or 216.6 percent from 2013.

In her report, Combs said the state received $2.66 billion in sales tax revenue during the month, which represented a 10.7 percent increase from one year ago.

"The growth in sales tax collections was fueled by increased remittances from both business and consumer driven sectors," Combs said. "The gains were led by oil and natural gas-related sectors, while collections from retail trade and restaurants also rose strongly."

Texas counties received $42.6 million in rebate checks, up by 11.5 percent compared to one year ago. Cities collected $417.3 million in rebates, which was up by 10.7 percent from December 2013.

In the latest report, Houston received the state's largest check for almost $55.2 million, which was up by 13.1 percent from the $48.8 million delivered one year ago.

San Antonio's sales tax allocation was almost $24.9 million, which was up by 9.4 percent from the $25.4 million received one year ago.

The $21.9 million issued to Dallas in December reflects a 9.3 percent increase from the $20 million received one year earlier.

The Austin sales tax allocation for December was $15 million, which was up by over 11.4 percent from the $13.5 million received one year earlier.

Other area counties that received November rebates included:
• Angelina, which collected $450,046.90, up by 8.8 percent from December 2013.
• Liberty, which collected $331,597.04, up by 18.3 percent from December 2013.
• San Jacinto, which collected $29,961.23, down by 0.6 percent from December 2013.
• Tyler, which collected $53,222.61, up by 2.6 percent from December 2013.
• Walker, which collected $316,435.12, up by 1.0 percent from December 2013.

Other East Texas cities that received November rebates included:
• Huntsville received a payment of $601,604.66, which was up by 13.2 percent from one year ago.
• Lufkin received a payment of $1.1 million, which was up by 9.7 percent from one year ago.
• Diboll received a payment of $36,701.60, which was down by 26.5 percent from December 2013.
• Cleveland received a payment of $256,360.06, which was up by 15.1 percent from one year ago.
• Liberty received a payment of $248,942.26, which was down by 0.7 percent from December 2013.
• Woodville received a payment of $81,734.44, which was down by 13 percent from December 2013.
• Chester received a payment of $1,914.78, which was up by 213.9 percent from the total collected one year ago.
• Trinity received a payment of $58,486.45, which was up by 17.4 percent from one year ago.
• Shepherd received a payment of $16,640.29, which was down by 15.1 percent from December 2013.
• Coldspring received a payment of $15,219.65, which was up down 19.6 percent from December 2013.