Alice only city in JWC to see increase

Christopher Maher, Jim Wells County Correspondent

Local sales tax numbers were mixed in January, with some cities in Jim Wells and Duval counties seeing large increases in allocations, while others saw significant decreases.

In Jim Wells County, the city of Alice was the only city to see an increase to start the year, with allocations of $688,259. That amount, the highest ever January allocation for the city, represented a 21.93 percent increase over allocations for January 2006.

The city of Orange Grove received $19,181 in allocations in January, a .51 percent decrease from allocations for January 2006.

The city of Premont saw the sharpest decline in allocations for any local city. The city of Premont received $9,392 in allocations, a 38.54 percent decrease from allocations for January 2006.

In Duval County, the city of Benavides was the only city to see an increase in allocations in January. The city of Benavides received $4,095 in allocations in January, up 12.6 percent over allocations for January 2006.

The city of Freer experienced a decline in allocations in January. The $46,239 received this month marked a 6.17 percent decrease from allocations in January 2006.

The city of San Diego also saw a slight decline in allocations this month. In January, the city of San Diego received $21,382 in allocations, down 1.91 percent from allocations for January 2006.

Comptroller Susan Combs Friday announced that the state collected $1.67 billion in sales tax revenue in December, up 6.7 percent compared to December 2005.

Combs sent cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts their first sales tax allocations of 2007.

January payments to local governments total $417.8 million, up 4.2 percent compared to January 2006.

"It's good news that Texas cities, counties and other local entities continue to see a healthy increase in sales tax revenue, because of strong consumer spending," Combs said in a press release. But she also expects slower sales tax growth in the next two years.

"We may see factors like more moderate consumer spending, a cooling housing market and stabilizing oil and gas prices affecting sales taxes."

Comptroller Combs sent January sales tax allocations of $282.3 million to Texas cities, up 8.5 percent compared to January 2006. Texas counties received sales tax payments of $25.3 million, up 10.3 percent compared to last January. December state sales tax collections and January allocations to local governments represent sales that occurred in November. The Comptroller's next sales tax allocation will be made on Friday, Feb. 9.