Alice received more than $8M from the state

Christopher Maher, Alice Echo-News Journal

Most local cities finished 2007 with significant increases in sales tax revenue, with many cities receiving record allocations this year.

In Jim Wells County, the City of Alice received $716,674 in allocations in December, finishing the year with a total of $8,760,153 in sales tax revenue. That amount represents a 9.03 percent increase over total allocations for 2006, and is the most sales tax revenue ever received by the city in a single year.

The City of Orange Grove received only $13,337 in allocations in December, its lowest single-month total since April 2005.

For the year, however, the City of Orange Grove received $240,308 in sales tax revenue, a 6.56 percent increase over last year and the highest year total ever for the city.

The City of Premont posted solid sales tax numbers in December, with revenue of $12,027. That amount was a 20.37 percent increase over allocations for December 2006, and brought the city to $170,144 in revenue for the year. That amount, the highest ever collected in a single year by the city, was 13.04 percent higher than allocations for all of 2006.

In Duval County, the City of San Diego received $23,949 in allocations in December, down 5.57 percent from December 2006. For the year, the city received $313,314 in allocations, up 3.03 percent over allocations for 2006.

The City of Freer received $50,630 in allocations in December, bringing the total for the year to $631,325. That amount is the highest ever collected in a single year by the city, and is a 13.35 percent increase over allocations for all of 2006.

The City of Benavides received $5,076 in the last month of 2007, the second highest single-month allocation of the year for the city. That amount brought the city to $49,686 in allocations for the year, just $74 higher than allocations for all of 2006.

Texas Comptroller Susan Combs said in a press release that the state collected $1.8 billion in sales tax in November, up 9.5 percent compared to November 2006. The Comptroller sent local governments $447.3 million in December sales tax allocations, up 10.8 percent compared to last December.

"State sales tax collections through the first three months of fiscal 2008 are up 6.6 percent compared to the same period last year," Combs said. "Growth is substantially slower than the vigorous 12 percent and 10.9 percent seen in fiscal 2006 and 2007, respectively. As the pace of the U.S. and Texas economies continues to cool, we expect the growth in Texas sales tax collections will continue to moderate."

Combs sent Texas cities December sales tax allocations of $300 million, up 9.9 percent compared to December 2006. City sales tax allocations during calendar year 2007 totaled $3.8 billion, up 6.9 percent compared to 2006.

Counties' December sales tax allocations were $27.5 million, up 11.1 percent compared to December 2006. Counties received $338.9 million in sales tax during calendar year 2007, up 8.4 percent compared to last year.

"The final sales tax allocation of 2007 brings total local sales tax allocations for the calendar year to $5.6 billion, surpassing last year's local sales tax revenue by 6.9 percent, despite a slowing economy," Combs said.