City’s sales tax returns swing back to positive

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City Hall got a bit of whiplash this week following an about-face in local sales tax returns.

In January, the monthly revenue check from the State Comptroller’s Office showed the first year-to-year decline in about two years. February’s 2019’s allocation, however, is just shy of $1million, a 34.12 percent increase compared to 12 months back.

It’s the same ol’ story, according to Kilgore City Manager Josh Selleck.

“Every month we see major fluctuations. Last month we were down, this month we’re up,” he said Friday. “What we saw last month is the people who have been causing us to be up were down, which caused us to be down.”

The City of Kilgore receives two-thirds of the tax revenues; Kilgore Economic Development Corporation receives the remainder. This month’s allocations come from December sales by monthly filers plus sales in October-December by quarterly filers and 2018 sales by businesses that report annually.

On Wednesday, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar reported his office is sending taxing entities statewide $953.9 million this month, a 4.6 increase compared to February 2018.

In Kilgore, “Nearly 20 percent of our total sales tax is coming from a single entity,” Selleck said, and “70 percent’s coming from the oil-and-gas industry. It’s just a handful of players in that industry that are dictating whether we’re up or down.

“Every month we have these major variations – that continues to show the need for budget flexibility and the wisdom behind the council’s financial methodology and philosophy.”

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