Local businesses Black Friday

Amy Glenewinkel shops at River Rose Boutique Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021 in New Braunfels. River Rose Boutique will be open this Friday for a Black Friday sale.

New Braunfels and Comal County continued to see a double-digit percentage increase in sales tax revenue received this month compared to last year’s pandemic-suppressed numbers, according to data from the Texas Comptroller’s Office.

New Braunfels experienced an overall increase of about $915,000 or 29.1% in sales taxes received in November compared to the same month last year.  

The November allocations are based on sales made in September by businesses that report tax monthly and on sales made in July, August and September by quarterly filers.

When the various adjustments to the monthly payment are removed, net September sales tax collections increased by about 19.9%. 

Assistant City Manager Jared Werner said the September figures are consistent with the heightened level of growth that the city experienced for much of the 2021 fiscal year.

“As indicated in previous monthly reports, factors such as increased demand and (consumer price index) pressures across various goods and services have played a role in the elevated growth of this revenue source,” Werner said. “When looking at the detailed September data, industries such as full-service restaurants, professional services, manufacturing and general services experienced the highest levels of growth.”

Moving into fiscal year 2022, Werner said the city will continue to “focus on analyzing sales tax trends to determine whether the increased demand and other factors impacting this revenue source will continue on their current trajectory or prove to be transitory in nature.” 

According to Werner, with the September figures, total sales taxes collections in fiscal year 2021 increased by 20.9%.

City officials will receive a check from the Comptroller’s Office of nearly $4.1 million this month. 

Comal County also saw a double-digit increase in sales tax revenue and will receive about $2 million this month from September sales, up about 23.7% compared to a year ago. The county received about $1.6 million in sales tax revenue during the same period last year.

Bulverde will receive $297,043 this month, an increase of about 39.7% compared to last year, and Garden Ridge will receive $41,713, up about 28.7% compared to the same month a year ago.

The Comptroller Office will send cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts $1.07 billion in local sales tax allocations for November, 20.6% more than in November 2020.

According to Comptroller Glenn Hegar, state sales tax revenue totaled $3.41 billion in October, 25.2% more than in October 2020. The majority of October sales tax revenue is based on sales made in September and remitted to the agency in October.

Compared to October 2019, sales tax collections were up 20.9 percent.

“October state sales tax collections again strongly surpassed pre-pandemic levels, reaching a new monthly high,” Hegar said in a statement. “Tax receipts from most major economic sectors were up by double-digit percentages from a year ago, indicating continued brisk spending by both businesses and consumers.”

Collections from the oil- and gas-mining sector more than doubled from a year ago, according to Hegar, while exploration and drilling activity remains at a pace little more than half that of the pre-pandemic months. Strong construction, manufacturing and wholesale trade sector receipts persist despite ongoing supply chain issues.

“Receipts from the retail trade sector showed some signs of a shift in consumer spending patterns back toward pre-pandemic norms,” Hegar said. “As Texans increasingly venture away from home for entertainment, shopping and resumption of office work, remittances from sporting goods stores declined from last year’s record levels, while those from ticket sales for live entertainment venues rose.”

According to Hegar, receipts from general merchandisers continued well above pre-pandemic levels, with receipts from mall-based department stores surging from year-ago levels, while receipts from big box and discount retailers remained at last year’s elevated levels without further growth. 

“Among more specialized retailers, the fastest growth in receipts was again with electronics and appliance stores, as has been the case in recent months, while receipts from clothing and accessory stores continued to grow robustly as well,” he said. “Receipts from online general merchandisers continued to grow moderately from last year’s elevated levels.”

Total sales tax revenue for the three months ending in October was up 21.9% compared to the same period a year ago and 15.7% compared to 2019. 

Texas collected the following revenue from other major taxes, most of which were up sharply from a year ago due to base effects:

  • Motor vehicle sales and rental taxes — $543 million; up 19% from October 2020 and 12% from October 2019.
  • Motor fuel taxes — $322 million, up 12% from October 2020 and 3% from October 2019.
  • Oil production tax — $410 million, up 105% from October 2020 and 18% from October 2019.
  • Natural gas production tax — $258 million, up 356% from October 2020 and 206% from October 2019.
  • Hotel occupancy tax — $54 million, up 63% from October 2020 and 9% from October 2019.
  • Alcoholic beverage taxes — $130 million, up 47% from October 2020 and 11% from October 2019.

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