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City’s taxable sales numbers up for second straight month

Thursday, October 7, 2010 by Michael Kanin

Staying strong in the face of a stubborn national recession, Austin saw its taxable sales revenue increase for the second straight month when compared to the same period last year. In a memo sent yesterday to City Council members and other city officials, Chief Financial Officer Leslie Browder reported that Austin received $11.6 million from the state this month for taxable sales that occurred in August. That number is up $600,000 over last October, an increase of 4.8 percent.


Cumulatively, for the 11 months of FY2010, the city’s collections are up 3.1 percent compared to the same 11 months last year. Browder wrote that her office projects a 3 percent growth in sales tax revenue overall for the fiscal year. That number is consistent with projections made in September, when the Financial and Administrative Services Department reported a sales tax revenue increase of 7.1 percent over July 2009.


Austin isn’t the only city in Texas with rosy tax figures, however. In fact, only one of the top 20 cities in the state saw declining tax revenues this month: Grand Prairie saw a decline of less than 1 percent. Otherwise, things were sunny statewide, with Houston experiencing 6.5 percent growth, Fort Worth 7.1, Dallas 6.1, and San Antonio 2.6.


Austin’s taxable sales growth put it right in the middle of its closest neighbors, according to Browder. “Round Rock was up 2.4 percent for the month.  San Marcos, with a lot of retail, saw an increase of 6.4 percent this month,” she wrote.


Sales tax collections in Bee Cave were up 9.0 percent and Capital Metro was up 1.0 percent for the month. Sunset Valley was the only local loser; the tiny Travis County city experienced a decrease of 1.8 percent.

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