Released by the Wood County Industrial Commission
(Wood County, TX) –The Wood County monthly state sales tax revenue report, released May 9, reflects Wood County retail sales at $453,740 for the March 2013 reporting period, down a nominal -1.23% over the same period last year, and $2.016M year-to-date, up a nominal 0.1% compared to the same period last year. Overall, Wood County March sales tax receipts for the six cities were $325,259, up 0.45% compared to the same period last year, and at $1.45M for year-to-date, up 4.07% over the same period in 2012.
Yantis reported 19.1% strong growth over the same quarterly period last year, bolstered by the warmer weather and emerging fishing season at Lake Fork. For the same time period last year, Winnsboro was up 6.8% and Alba was up 3.6%, while declines were measured in Quitman (-7.7%), Hawkins (-5.6%) and Mineola flat (-0.11%). Year to date numbers are looking better, with good and strong gains over the prior reporting periods for Yantis (up 17.8%) and Winnsboro (up 11.4%) and Alba (up 9.2%). Hawkins allocations experiences a shrink at 8.7% compared to the same period last year, while Mineola tracked up 2.25% and Quitman up 4.04% from one year ago.
Wood County Industrial Commission Executive Director Chana Gail Willis stated, “These sales allocation revenue numbers reflect retail activity from about seven weeks ago. For the period reporting, the sales tax figures represent monthly sales made in March as well as January, February and March sales by businesses that report tax quarterly. Next month it is expected to see better gains from April’s retail activity, coupled with the warmer weather.”
Willis concluded, “Retail sales tax allocation numbers are just one figure to measure the healthiness of an economy. Motor vehicles sales are up, as well as building permits, housing sales and construction. Consumer confidence remains strong in Texas at 105.8 in April 2013, up 17.4% from March 2013, and 17.8% higher than one year ago. The U.S. consumer confidence index was 68.1 in April 2013, up 10% from March 2013, and 0.9% lower than one year ago. This means there’s more consumer confidence in Texas than in the U.S., on the average.” In fact, Governor Perry’s 7May Press release touted, “More than 700 top CEOs around the nation are ranking Texas as the best state to do business for the ninth year in a row in Chief Executive magazine's annual Best and Worst States survey. CEO opinions were gauged on a variety of metrics, including regulations, tax policies, workforce quality, educational resources, quality of living and infrastructure.”
Job growth, sales tax collections and building permits all signal that the Texas economy continues to outpace the national economy. Wood County unemployment rate was 6.9% for March 2013, down from 7.1% in February and 7.6% in January. The state comptroller reports Texas unemployment rate at 6.4% for March 2013, at or below the national rate for 75 consecutive months. Sales tax collections have increased for 36 consecutive months (year-over-year), boosted by strong business spending in the oil/natural gas and manufacturing sectors, and to a lesser extent by retail sales activity. Over the past year, Texas added jobs in all of the 11 major industries, including leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, trade, transportation and utilities, education and health services, construction, mining and logging, other services, financial activities, government, manufacturing, and information.