KAUFMAN COUNTY, TEXAS — Sales tax revenues across Kaufman county have defied unprecedented statewide declines, according the state comptroller this week.
State sales tax revenue in May fell by more than 13 percent, adding to already historic declines amid the coronavirus pandemic and an unrelated crash in global oil prices.
The largest year-over-year drop since January 2010, it is the first full glimpse into the financial fallout from the coronavirus. Though the revenue totals are for May, they mostly represent transactions in April, when a statewide lockdown was in place to slow the spread of the virus.
“Significant declines in sales tax receipts were evident in all major economic sectors, with the exception of telecommunications services,” Comptroller Glenn Hegar said in a statement. “The steepest decline was in collections from oil and gas mining, as energy companies cut well drilling and completion spending following the crash in oil prices.”
The city of Forney reported receiving $829,242.67 in sales tax rebate revenue in April, representing an increase of 12.06 percent from the $739,966.96 reported in June 2019. For the year to date, Forney has taken in over $4.5 million, a rise of 11.9 percent from the $4.03 million received through June of last year.
Comparatively, the city of Terrell reported receiving $960,628.80 in sales tax during the same period, representing a decline of 5.5 percent from the $1,017,123.02 received in June 2019. For the year, Terrell has taken in over $6.4 million, a 10.39 percent increase from the $5.8 million received during the same time last year.
The city of Kaufman reported $290,245.47 in sales tax, an increase of 15.49 percent, from the $251,313.17 reported last year. The city of Kaufman has taken in $1.62 million year to date, an increase of nearly 6 percent over last year’s $1.53 million.
Crandall sales tax revenues were up 1.72 percent, collecting $50,512.77 compared to $49,654.23 a year ago. Crandall’s year to date sales tax numbers are up 23.56 percent, collecting over $356,202.45 compared to last year’s $288,273.73
Kemp has increased its year to date collections by 9.28 percent, up from $173,716.47 last year the city has collected $189,853.90.
The city of Mabank also reported increases of 23.7 percent for the month, and a 12.58 percent increase on the year totaling over $941,409.30.
Sales tax is the largest source of funding for the Texas state budget, including public education and health care. It typically brings in about $3 billion monthly.
“The business closures and restrictions and stay-at-home orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic spurred deep drops in collections from restaurants, amusement and recreation services, and physical retail stores,” Hegar said. “These declines were offset in part by increases from big box retailers and grocery stores that remained open as essential businesses, online retailers and restaurants that could readily pivot to takeout and delivery service.”
While the state has begun reopening, Hegar says many businesses are still closed or operating at reduced capacity. Unemployment remains high and the drop in energy prices in March has been compounded by a fall in demand as Texans remain largely indoors. Hegar said the slump in tax revenue will likely last “for months.”