Jasper, Texas – After reporting a 2013 to 2014 downturn in sales tax allocations for the 12-county DETCOG Region in its “State of the Region” report in January, Deep East Texas Council of Governments Officials are pleased to note signs of an upswing in the first quarter of 2015.
“The most recent quarterly figures in our regional snapshot are showing an 11% increase in sales tax allocations in the DETCOG Region in the first quarter of 2015 over the same period in 2014,” said DETCOG Executive Director Walter Diggles. “Even if we take out a one-time-only $293,000 collection included in Lufkin’s January allocation, there is still a 9% increase,” he said. The increase not only marks a recovery from the 2013-2014 decrease, but is the largest first quarter allocation DETCOG has seen in the last eight years. The 11% calculates into a first quarter 2014-2015 increase of over $48 million in taxable sales in the region.
Whereas the figures used in the “State of the Region” covered all 43 entities collecting local sales tax in the DETCOG region, the monthly snapshot of retail sales tax allocations is composed of 17 key cities and counties. The allocations, as reported by Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar, are comprised of the cities and county’s part of the state’s 8.25% sales tax. Local entities; cities, counties, hospital and special districts within a county, can claim up to a total of 2.5% of that levy. The state’s local allocations come from sales tax remitted by retailers, either quarterly or monthly, with a two month delay to allow for complete reporting and calculating of the local allocations.
“The two-month lag between collection and allocations means that two of the three months taxes in the first quarter allocations came from the Christmas sales period,” observed Diggles. “Knowing that the figures are an impressive recovery from the 2013 to 2014 downturn, but also it came from that economically important period, makes this report doubly exciting,” he concluded.
The Deep East Texas Council of Governments region includes the counties of Angelina, Houston, Jasper, Nacogdoches, Newton, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Trinity and Tyler. Its members include local governments, school districts, water districts, non-profit organizations and the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas.