Monthly sales tax check stays flat for April

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Up, down, up, plateau – as oilfield revenues climb and dive, so does the City of Kilgore’s sales tax rollercoaster.

Fortunately, for the past two years, it’s been in a fairly steady ascent following the previous two years’ plunging numbers. At the moment, things are on a pretty even keel.

On Wednesday, the state comptroller’s office reported a $756,796 sales tax allocation for the City of Kilgore this month. Two-thirds of that goes into the city’s accounts, one-third to Kilgore Economic Development Corporation.

From the basic numbers it’s a 4.23 percent year-to-year decline. Factoring in a bit more data, April 2019 is on par with 12 months ago. The numbers for April – based on sales in February by businesses that report tax monthly – include variances totaling about $40,000. The same check in 2018 saw about $68,000 in variances.

“It’s pretty much the same number we saw last year once you take into account those variances,” Kilgore City Manager Josh Selleck noted.

Statewide this month, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar is distributing $705 million in sales tax revenue to local taxing entities across the state. That’s an 8.4 percent increase compared to the same month last year.

Kilgore’s not seeing that kind of boost in the April check, but things are very much in the black. For the year, the city has collected about 71 percent of its $6.1 million projection.

As in prior months, “Most of what we’ve called the recovery is based on a select few companies, primarily in the oil-and-gas realm,” Selleck noted. “When they have great months, we have great months. When they’re not on billing months, we’re flat.”

So far, seven months into Fiscal Year 2019, “The surplus is sufficient to cover all of the one-time uses that we had anticipated.”

For example, in lean years, some road projects can be put aside until excess funds cover the cost; with this year’s bolstered revenues, the city is putting the extra dollars to use. “So long as we continue to see a slight positive, we should be good to make budget for the rest of the year.”

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