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Retailer’s Gearing up for Holiday “Shop Local” Effort
Written by Clayton Neville   
Thursday, 07 November 2013 13:44

From Wood County Indistrial Commission

(Wood County, TX, 8 November 2013) –The Wood County monthly state sales tax revenue report released this week reflecting September 2013 retail sales for quarterly and monthly filers for Wood County were $ 444,887, relatively flat over the same period last year.  For State Comptroller payments to Wood County and Wood County cities, allocations were $4.55 million year to date, up 1.5% compared to year-to-date allocations for the same period last year.  

   

Wood County Industrial Commission Executive Director Chana Gail Willis stated, “This is a good report, reflecting nice retails sales in particularly in Yantis, Alba and Winnsboro.  These “lake” city figures can best be attributed to the September fishing tournaments at Lake Fork.”    

   

“Other economic indicators released this week show we are continuing good recovery in many sectors, especially in Texas robust economy. The employment figures are up, meaning unemployment stats for the county are dropping to their season low as many retailers begin hiring for the holiday sales push.  

   

“While we are seeing some pessimism in some consumer spending, this is probably caution over the national healthcare debacle and consumers and employers still figuring out the financial impacts.   Optimism and consumer confidence seems strong with some expectedly cautionary components in some industries, particularly the Oil and Gas developments we have seen in the county this year, along with new business growth in downtown sectors.  Wood County experienced three significant economic development projects this year, with the new ETMC/Quitman hospital, Wood County Electric Coop (WCEC) headquarters, and the expansion and $1.4M improvement of the Wood County Airport as a joint project between TXDOT Aviation, Wood County and the cities of Mineola and Quitman.” 

The Wood County Airport estimated economic impact to Wood County from the Airport facility was recently reported in the annual CEDS Survey for ETGOG.

“The Wood County Airport has a cumulative $7.36M asset base, and an annual economic impact of $2.07M for all aircraft operating at or through the airport; the airport has increased jobs to 7 direct and 23-job years of employment, based upon TXDOT 2011 report. Roughly 50 planes are now considered “based” at WCA. Many corporate planes and management fly in/out of Wood County Airport for business and pleasure; named TXDOT General Aviation Airport of the Year in 2010.”

“SHOP LOCAL” impacts Property Tax.

Willis added, “It is equally encouraging to see businesses expansion and new businesses permitting increasing for the year, and the retail industry gearing up for the fourth quarter of holiday sales. In fact, increases in sales tax revenue from shopping local has a direct impact on diminishing a portion of Wood County property tax bills.”

Willis explained, ‘How so?’ someone would ask. Here’s how this works. When someone buys something in retail in Wood County, they generally pay 8.25% sales tax; that’s 1.5% city if the transaction occurs inside a city, plus 0.5 % County, and 6.25% State. Also, property owners pay property tax to different entities, from their school district, city, any special districts and the county. Total sales tax allocations (revenues) to the County for the year are an offset to the total County property tax, dollar for dollar. Then, a formula is computed to show the discount amount as a COUNTY reduction on the property tax bill received by the taxpayers. For example, if the total year sales distributions (allocations of revenue) to Wood County (at 0.5% of retails sales) is $1.4M, then the Wood County property tax rolls are reduced for the county’s portion (not city, schools or special district) by that same $1.4M. The trickle down affect may not be a large amount per property, but it is a direct relationship: Shopping local generates retail sales tax that directly offsets County portion of final billing for property tax. It’s essential economic impact: if retail trade does well, it lessens the burden on the property owners, from commercial to residential. Retail business trade is good business sense for EVEYRONE in Wood County, and why property owners from businesses, to homeowners, should care about encouraging others to SHOPPING LOCAL.”

Wills concluded, “Generally, from an economic standpoint, a consistent 4% growth rate or better is a comfortable target figure to work with for retails sales, and we are certainly tracking ahead of those figures in most of our communities. The climate continues to remain positive for measured economic growth continuing into the fall season and the coming holidays.”

 
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