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City’s sales tax revenues fell 6.3 percent in August

Friday, October 9, 2009 by Austin Monitor

Sales tax receipts for August were down again for the City Of Austin, according to Chief Financial Officer Leslie Browder. The city received $11 million this month, compared to $11.8 million in 2008, a decrease of 6.3 percent.


In an email sent Thursday, Browder said on a cumulative basis for the first 11 months of 2009, collections were down 9.6 percent compared to the same eleven months last year.


”As presented during the five-year financial forecast in April and the proposed budget in July, we are currently estimating an overall drop of 10.0 percent by the end of this fiscal year,” Browder said. 


Mayor Lee Leffingwell said the new numbers were pretty good, relatively speaking. “I think that pretty well assures that we are going to be within our budgetary target of minus 10 percent,” he said. “I feel good about it. We had that one kind of aberration in July, but the trend in next months since has been in the range of minus 5, minus 6, and minus 7 percent.”


Browder said that of the top 20 Texas cities, 17 cities saw declining sales tax revenue this month. All other major Texas cities experienced declines this past month. Dallas saw the most significant decrease this month, off 10.9 percent, followed by Fort Worth (-9.3 percent), Houston (-3.7), and San Antonio (-2.2 percent). 


Overall, the Austin/San Marcos metro area was down 7.0 percent this month. Round Rock was down by 13.4 percent for the month, a year-to-date decline of 10.3 percent. 


San Marcos, with a lot of retail, saw a decrease of 3.2 percent this month. Year-to-date, San Marcos is down by 2.8 percent.


Browder said, “Sunset Valley, which also has a lot of retail, was down by 6.9 percent this month compared to last year. Sales tax collections in Bee Cave were relatively flat this month compared to the same time last year, with growth of 0.8 percent.” Capital Metro was also down by 6.9 percent for the month.

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