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Austin bucks trend with rise in sales tax revenue

Thursday, March 11, 2010 by Austin Monitor

Austin is one of the few big cities in Texas receiving even slightly rosy news from State Comptroller Susan Combs. According to Austin Chief Financial Officer Leslie Browder, the city saw a 2 percent uptick in January sales taxes over the same month last year, receiving $10.7 million this month compared to $9.9 million collected in 2009.


Overall, Browder said, the Austin/San Marcos MSA was up 1.8 percent this month. Round Rock had the biggest gain, with an increase of 6.1 percent for the month. This is probably due, at least in part, to the fact that Round Rock had such a bad year in 2009.


Browder told the Mayor and Council in an email last night that collections are up 0.3 percent for the first four months of FY 2010, October-January, compared to those months in the previous fiscal year. This is the first time she has been able to say that since the fiscal year started. According to last month’s report, collections were down “0.1 percent compared to the same three months last year,” Browder said in her February memo.


“Of the top 20 Texas cities, 9 cities saw declining sales tax revenue this month. All other major Texas cities experienced declines this past month, with the exception of Dallas,” she said, which showed less than one percent growth. Houston had the poorest showing, with a drop of 11.5 percent, according to Browder. Fort Worth was down 4.7 percent and San Antonio was off 1.4 percent.


According to Browder, Sunset Valley experienced a decrease of 7.1 percent and Capital Metro was down 1.4 percent for the month, while sales tax collections for Bee Cave were up 2.3 percent.

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