Economic upturn reflected in sales tax revenues - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Economic upturn reflected in sales tax revenues


State tax revenues are up and most Texas cities continue to see increased economic growth.    

The City of Tyler is no different and officials are counting on that growth not to slow down.

After taking a hard hit during the 2008 recession, the city says they're almost back to the 2007 revenues that had the city booming. The economic upturn is not only brining more retail options to Tyler, but it could help keep other tax rates down.

Just this week, a retail development group out of Dallas broke ground on a new 80 acre shopping center in South Tyler.

"There are going to be a variety of restaurants, boutiques, new services and retailers in there, It's going to be a bunch of new stuff we haven't seen," says Tom Mullins, the President and CEO of the Tyler Economic Development Council.

The new retail options will undoubtedly contribute to future sales tax growth for the city.

This August, sales tax revenues were up $196,350 dollars. That's a six percent increase from August of last year. The increases were noted across the board in the food industry, service, wholesale, manufacturing and retail.

"A lot of people think of sales tax as being on your Walmart goods or your department store.. that sort of thing. Really, the largest tax payers are not those tax payers. They might be utilities and a oil or gas service company," says Tyler City Manager Mark McDaniel.

"The fact that we've added beer and wine sales as a choice is contributing to the increase," says Mullins.

Beer and wine sales were responsible for a $37,000 sales tax increase in August alone. Regardless of what's making sales tax revenues go up, the increase only means good news for the city.

"We've been having to use savings, make significant cuts, we've frozen positions and so this allows us to restore some of that funding with current funding," says McDaniel.

McDaniel says Tyler is creeping back to the comfortable spot they were at before.

"We're counting on it so we don't have to have future tax rate increases as far as the property tax," he says.

With a strengthening local economy and a continually diversifying retail base, the financial future looks bright for the City of Tyler. The Tyler Economic Development Council says Tyler has also been nationally recognized for economic growth. Two national studies have ranked Tyler in the top 10 for U.S. cities with strong and diverse economies.

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