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City sales tax down once again

Friday, March 13, 2009 by Austin Monitor

Sales tax payments declined again in January for Central Texas cities. According to Leslie Browder, chief financial for the City of Austin, Austin saw a 13.1 percent decline for January as compared to January 2008. The difference is about $1.6 million.


A memo from Browder reveals that Round Rock sales tax revenues fell by more than 23 percent, while Sunset Valley and Bee Cave saw revenues down more than 9 percent each. Revenues for sales taxes fell in 14 of the top 20 Texas cities, according to Browder.


Dallas was down 10.9 percent; San Antonio down 4.6 percent; and Houston saw an increase of 4.5 percent.


City Manager Marc Ott has already taken steps to reduce city spending by $20 million, based on the decline in sales tax revenue. Last month, Browder and other officials were expecting sales taxes to fall by 6 percent for the entire fiscal year.


Browder said, “Our year-end estimate may still be achievable . . .although now (that seems) less likely in light of our last two sales tax payments.”

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