Brownwood broke a four-month decline in sales tax allocations with a small, but welcome increase over its October 2015 allocation. Early and Bangs also posted gains, leaving Blanket as the only Brown County municipally with a decrease.
    October allocations reflect August sales.
    “We start off our new fiscal year with good news on the sales tax front!,” Brownwood Finance Director Walter Middleton said via email.
    Brownwood’s October allocation of $538,207 was 2.7 percent higher than the October 2015 allocation. Year-to-date, Brownwood’s allocations total $5,8 million, a 2 percent increase over last year’s $5.7 million.
    “This isn’t a lot, but after four straight months of declines, a positive number is very welcome,” Middleton said.
    Early’s allocation of $100,951 is just over 8 percent higher than last October’s $93,433. Year-to-date, Early’s allocations total just over $1 million, a 5.9 percent decline from last year’s $1.1 million.
    “We are very pleased to see over an 8 percent growth …  More exciting is the continued growth the City of Early has seen in this same period over the last five years,” City Administrator Tony Aaron said.
     Early’s October sales tax for 2016 is 24 percent higher than it was just five years ago, Aaron said, and Early is on track to finish off the annual year with a 20 percent  growth from where it was five years prior.
    “The economy and spending habits from year to year can have effects on our sales tax numbers from period to period, but to sustain a continued growth over the last five years is quite encouraging,” Aaron said.
    Bangs saw a .78 percent increase with an October allocation of $10,986, compared with last October’s $10,900. Year-to-date, Bangs’ allocations total $122,135, a 2.7 percent increase over last year’s $118,945.
    Blanket’s allocation of $1,984 reflected a 25 percent decrease from last October’s $2,585. Year-to-date, Blanket’s allocations total $18,977, a 22 percent decrease from last year’s $24,307.

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced he will send cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts $650 million in local sales tax allocations for October, 5.5 percent more than in October 2015. These allocations are based on sales made in August by businesses that report tax monthly.
    “The cities of San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano and McKinney saw noticeable increases in sales tax allocations,” Hegar said. “The cities of Houston and Midland saw significant decreases in sales tax allocations.”             Hegar said state sales tax revenue totaled $2.13 billion in September, 3.9 percent lower than in September 2015.
    “Subdued spending for oil and gas drilling continues to depress sales tax revenue,” Hegar said. “Consumer spending also appears to have slowed, as sales tax collections from retail trade were down from the previous year. In contrast, construction sector receipts continued to grow.”
    Total sales tax revenue for the three months ending in September 2016 is down 2.6 percent compared to the same period a year ago. Sales tax revenue is the largest source of state funding for the state budget, accounting for 58 percent of all tax collections. Motor vehicle sales and rental taxes, motor fuel taxes and oil and natural gas production taxes also are large revenue sources for the state.
In September 2016, Texas collected the following revenue from those taxes:
    • Motor vehicle sales and rental taxes — $395.8 million, down 4.8 percent from September 2015.
    • Motor fuel taxes — $294 million, down 4.6 percent from September 2015.
    • Oil and natural gas production taxes — $215.9 million, down 6.2 percent from September 2015.