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City, state, sales tax collections continue to fall

Friday, September 11, 2009 by Austin Monitor

Sales tax collections for Austin and most of the rest of Texas continued to decline in July, according to data the city received from the State Comptroller’s office. For the City of Austin, the decline was 13.6 percent, according to Chief Financial Officer Leslie Browder.


In a message to the Mayor and Council sent this morning, Browder said, “This is our tenth payment for fiscal year 2009. We received $10.7 million this month compared to $12.3 million for the same month last year, a decrease of 13.6 %. On a cumulative basis for the first ten months of fiscal year 2009, our collections are down 9.9% compared to the same ten months last year.”


Browder points out that the budget office predicted an overall decline of 10 percent for this fiscal year when they did their five-year forecast in April.


Overall, Browder said, “The Austin/San Marcos MSA was down 4.8% this month. Round Rock was up by 11.8% for the month, but down 10.0% year-to-date. Round Rock experienced an unusually large amount of past period collections this month relative to their current collections and this drove the positive increase compared to last year.”


She also noted that Houston, which had seemed to weather the downturn better than the rest of the state, experienced a drop of 15.6 percent in July. Dallas and Fort Worth also saw declines of greater than 15 percent. San Antonio declined by more than 8 percent, she said.


Also, Capital Metro was down by 14.2 percent for the month, Browder reported. The City Council is scheduled to adopt a budget for the upcoming fiscal year on Monday, with Tuesday and Wednesday meetings scheduled if they cannot reach agreement on all details on Monday.

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