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City sees sharp decline in sales tax rebates
Jul 26, 2014 | 426 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
AUSTIN – The City of Beeville continues to see a decline in sales tax rebates sent monthly from Austin, but Bee County experienced a tapering off of its losses.

That news came this month from the office of State Comptroller Susan Combs when she released the July sales tax rebate figures.

According to the report, Beeville’s rebate of $288,403.48 was down by 19.88 percent compared to the $359,084.35 the city received for the same period in 2013.

The year-to-date figure was not much better. Since January the city has collected $2,308,288.17 in rebates from Combs’ office for a loss of 12.27 percent.

At this time last year the city had received $2,631,374.16 in rebates from Austin.

Bee County actually had good news in its July rebate payment.

With another $199,555.06 in the bank, the county was actually in the positive by 10.77 percent compared to the rebate of $180,143.77 received last July.

Although the county’s year-to-date figures are still in the red, compared to that of 2013, the difference is not as significant as it is for the city this month.

The county has banked $1,190,359.99 in sales tax rebates since January. That is down by only 2.95 percent compared to the $1,226,666.71 the county had received in sales tax rebates by this time last year.

City Manager Jack Hamlett said this week that he is not sure what is causing the decrease in sales tax rebates right now.

He said projections indicate that the city’s income from sales taxes could see a loss of as much as $300,000 this year.

Hamlett said it is possible to hire a consulting company which could track sales tax rebates from Austin and determine why the payments are declining.

In some instances, Hamlett said, the state could be sending rebates to another taxing entity in the county that should have gone to the city.

In a situation like that it could be worth the effort to enlist the aid of a consulting firm.

Statewide, the figures show improvement. Cities across the state received $394.1 million in July. That was an increase of 4.4 percent for July and up by 6.7 percent for the year.
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