Another sign of the red hot Texas economy, as sales tax collections hit a record high in August, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Texas State Comptroller Glenn Hegar says Texas shoppers forked over $2.87 billion in sales taxes in August, that is up nearly 16% from August of 2017.
“The strong growth in August state sales tax collections compared to a year ago is principally due to the strength of the current economic expansion, but is also due to unusually high audit refund payments in August of last year,” Hegar said. “Led by receipts from the oil- and gas-related sectors, all major economic sectors including manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, construction and services contributed significant gains.”
Sales tax activity is the best gauge of retail spending, because necessities like food and medicine are not subject to the sales tax.
The sales tax record comes at a time when robust business activity in all sectors are resulting in solid gains for the state treasury.
Motor vehicle sales and rental taxes and motor fuel taxes, are up sharply, and taxes on oil and gas activity are up more than 80% from last year, due to strong growth in that sector.
That is good news for the Rainy Day Fund, which has been depleted by the costs of Hurricane Harvey, as oil and gas tax revenue is the largest contributor to the fund.
Hegar recently upped his prediction for state revenue ahead of the start of the 2019 session, and the robust growth will allow lawmakers to tackle top priorities, including non tolled highway construction, when they meet in January.