Tax rebates down all over

One year after record rebate amount, cities, counties, state show sales declines

One year after a record sales tax reimbursement from the state, Rockdale showed a 12- percent decline in year-over-year totals, the State Comptroller's office reported.

Rockdale received $75,717, compared to last year's $86,750 rebate. Last year's numbers were due largely to about 2,000 temporary workers working on Luminant's Sandow 5 plant.

Record-high gas prices last summer also meant fewer people were traveling to area towns to shop, generating even more local sales taxes.

Most towns and counties showed declines in year-overyear totals. Governments that rely on sales tax revenue are making budget cuts as the national and state economy continues to struggle.

Caldwell was the only area town showing a substantial increase, up almost 12 percent for its August rebate. Nearby Hearne was down 60 percent for the month.

Statewide totals

Comptroller Susan Combs said the state collected $1.65 billion in sales tax revenue in July, down 11.6 percent from a year ago. Sales tax allocations to local governments were down 6.8 percent compared to August 2008.

"Major sectors of the economy, such as retail trade, oil and natural gas, and construction, remain weak," Combs said.

Taxing entity Aug. 2009 Change YTD 2009 Change
Rockdale $75,717 -12.7% $552,259 .24%
Cameron 75,945 -5.2% 492,223 6.9%
Thorndale 10,866 -1.7% 70,573 9.1%
Milano 5,777 -51.5% 42,614 -11.2%
Buckholts 1,239 -10.7% 7,455 -11.3%
Hospital Dist. 22,098 -43.4% 207,626 -14.4%
Milam 112,296 -3.22$ 839,150 -19.8%
Bell 1,327,538 1.5% 9,145,702 -.9%
Burleson 75,252 1.4% 481,015 -3.4%
Falls 31,537 -4.7% 223,909 -3.2%
Lee 70,619 -10.0% 581,495 5.8%

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The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.

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