The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

February 24, 2010

City, county tax allocations down

By WAYNE STEWART
Palestine Herald-Press

PALESTINE — Tax allocations for Palestine and Anderson County continue to fall with no end in the decline in the near future, according to Texas Comptroller Susan Combs.

“Collections continue to be down in major industry sectors like retail trade, oil and natural gas production, construction and manufacturing,” Combs said.

Palestine’s allocations for February were $570,789.40, down just over 20 percent for the same period last year’s allocation of $716,842.56.

All cities in the county were down, with Elkhart allocations down 12.97 percent at $10,850.18 compared to $12,468.48 in 2009. Frankston was down 4.48 percent to $16,116.97 compared to $16,873.06 in 2009.

February’s tax allocations are based on sales made in December and include earlier sales by businesses reporting sales tax to the comptroller’s office on a quarterly or annual basis.

While the numbers look dismal, Combs said they are being compared to an extremely high total for the same reporting period in 2009.

“January’s sales tax revenue was down by double digits compared to January 2009, which was the third highest collection month ever and was also the last month of year-over-year growth,” Combs said. “We will continue to closely monitor sales tax revenue, and although we expect further collection declines in the near term, it is anticipated the rate of decline will moderate and then return to revenue growth sometime in the second quarter of 2010.”

Overall allocations for Texas were down about 7 percent compared to February 2009.

Cities surrounding Palestine and Anderson County fared better. Athens February tax allocations were up 11.4 percent from last year. Jacksonville also posted positive numbers up 8.48 percent from 2009. Rusk also was up considerably at 18.34 percent from last year.

For more information on tax allocations visit the comptroller’s Web site at www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/allocsum/compsum.html.