This year’s sales tax numbers underscore a recent upbeat economic message delivered on Feb. 17 by Mayor Rick Carmona at the annual Chamber membership meeting.
Carmona noted that the area around FM 148 “is exploding with growth” and the Crossroads at Terrell is performing at or above expectations. The city issued 51 building permits in 2019, the Mike Cronin Business Park is nearing capacity, property values continue to rise and the city’s jobless rate is at a record low, according to Carmona.
Through February, the city of Terrell’s cumulative monthly sales tax revenue is nearly 15.5% above the same five-month period in fiscal 2018-19, state sales tax data shows.
The city’s service and retail sectors – buoyed by expansion at the Crossroads at Terrell and a healthy economy – has put 2019-20 sales tax revenue on pace to easily surpass last year’s $11.74 million in total receipts and hit this year’s projected number of $13.5 million.
In January 2020, the city received $1.03 million in sales tax revenue compared with $924,871 in January 2019. In February 2020, the city received $1.43 million vs. $1.09 million a year ago, the Comptroller’s Office reported. January’s total reflects sales made in October 2019, and February’s total reflects sales made in November 2019.
Sales tax collections are seen as a key indicator of a city or county’s overall economic health.
The sales and use tax is the city single largest revenue source, funding 46% of the general fund. Property taxes account for 30% of general fund revenue, and franchise fees contribute 7%. A combination of intergovernmental transfers, service fees, fines, and fees for licenses and permits account for nearly all the remainder of general fund revenue.
City sale tax collections also are projected to provide $2.53 million this fiscal year to the Terrell Economic Development Corp. The money will finance EDC’s mission of developing Terrell’s economy. Another $843,886 in sales tax money is projected to go this year toward the new Parks and Downtown Improvement Corp., which was formed to fund quality of life capital projects in Terrell. The corporation is overseen by the PADIC board.