Palestine sales tax revenues will be over $300,000 lower than la - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Palestine sales tax revenues will be over $300,000 lower than last year

PALESTINE, TX (KLTV) -

The City of Palestine is estimating sales tax revenues will total about $313,000 less than last year.

Steve Groom, the Finance Director for the City of Palestine, says, “Our fiscal year starts October 1 and I start worrying about sales tax October 1.”

Like in most cities, sales tax revenues in Palestine help pay for the police and fire departments, public works and projects, as well as city parks.

The City of Tyler has also seen a dip in sales tax revenue over the past two years. They’ve recuperated some of the costs by implementing a hiring freeze.

Palestine officials say they will not implement a hiring freeze, however they’ve been able to recover some costs from utilizing the salaries of vacant positions.

Recent sales tax slumps in Texas relate to a down energy sector and the increase of online shopping.

Tom Mullins with the Tyler Economic Development Councils says, “If the county, or even people globally, find it more convenient to shop online than to go to a brick and mortar option, that changes how commercial development happens going forward".

Commercial development could be the pinpoint reason why Palestine has seen this sales tax slump.

Tom Manskey with the Palestine Economic Development Office says, “One thing affecting us is some of the smaller communities not too far away have a grocery store for the first time in the last 12-24 months.  Perhaps in the past, Grapeland shoppers would come up here to shop for their groceries, but now they don’t have to."
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Palestine officials don’t believe residents will feel an impact.

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