By Lynda Jones
At the beginning of each month, the state comptroller reports the amount of local sales tax allocations that the county and its municipalities receive. These figures are an indicator of the local economy because they reflect how much money people spend here.
Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar reports his office sent Houston County municipalities $178,924.30 in local sales tax allocations at the beginning of March. This is 32.96% more than the $134,565.75 the towns received in March 2015.
The March allocations are based on sales made in January 2016 by businesses that report tax monthly.
Houston County's allocation for March 2016 was $89,794.81, an 18.96% increase from the $75,478.71 March 2015 allocation.
The county has received $321,270.08 so far in 2016. This is a 6.58% increase over the 2015 payments to date that totaled $301,422.24.
With this month's allocation, the county's five municipalities received a cumulative total of $614,306.63 to date in 2016, a 26.78% increase over the $484,545.28 received to date in 2015.
The City of Crockett received $155,491.76 this month, a 35.53% increase over the $114,723.45 received in March 2015.
The city's 2016 Payments to Date total $528,139.13, a 27.77% increase over the $413,347.97 2015 Payments to Date.
Grapeland received $14,594.11, a 23.17% increase over the $11,847.88 received in March 2015.
For the year so far, Grapeland has received $56,160.25, a 36.01% increase over the $41,289.31 received at this point in 2015.
Kennard received a March payment totaling $1,837.57, a 115.59% increase over the $852.34 received in March 2015.
For the year to date, Kennard has received $4,420.27, a 3.73% decrease from the $4,591.59 received to date in 2015.
The March 2016 allocation for Latexo was $1,788.05, a 48.15% increase over the $1,206.84 received in March 2015.
Latexo's 2016 payments to date total $4,618.59, a 12.71% decrease from the $5,291.20 received to date in 2015.
The City of Lovelady's March 2016 allocation was $5,212.81, a 12.17% decrease from the March 2015 payment of $5,935.24.
Lovelady's 2016 payments to date total $20,968.39, a 4.70% increase over the $20,025.21 received to date in 2015.
"Energy-centric cities, such as Odessa, Midland, Corpus Christi and Houston, continued to see decreases in sales tax allocations," Hegar said. "Other areas of the state helped to somewhat offset those losses, as cities such as Austin and Dallas saw moderate increases in allocations."