Sherman and Denison both had an increase in sales tax revenue for fiscal year 2019 that ended in October. Grayson County produced $4.7 billion dollars worth of goods and services during that same time.
In Sherman, the sales tax increase was n early 4.5 percent. It was nearly 2.5 percent higher in Denison.
Sherman Economic Development Corp. President Kent Sharp said it is an indicator of a strong economy.
He pointed out that Sherman saw an increase in retail venues with new convenience stores, restaurants an Schulman’s Movie Bowl Grill earlier in the year helping push the city’s sale tax increase to almost 4.5 percent. He said for the first three months of the current fiscal year that began in October the trend is already tracking upwards over the same time last year by nearly ten percent.
“Generally absent any large projects like Schulman’s when you have strong sales tax and you don’t have large projects it shows a strong consumer spending trend,” Sharp said. “Its individuals purchasing consumer electronics to large scale household appliances like washers and dryers. Typically consumers won’t spend that kind of money unless they feel pretty good about the economy overall.
Kent said some years are better than others. He said as long as there is growth that is good.
“We’re experiencing the growth a town our size is supposed to experience,” Sharp said. “Sales tax is huge. It is one of the largest contributing income sources to the city budget. It is the vast majority of our budget.”
Sharp said the city budgeted $17.6 million in sales tax revenue for 2019 fiscal year that just ended. He said the city is anticipating it closer to $18.2 million for fiscal year 2020.
He said the most common indicator of economic growth is gross domestic product. He said there is a way to calculate the local markets contribution to GDP. He said Grayson County is ranked 78th out of the states 254 counties by local domestic product. The actual dollars the county produced in total was $4.7 billion for 2019.
Denison Development Alliance Vice President William Myers said it was a good year for local businesses.
“In a good economy you expect it to be a positive number,” Myers said. “We have more businesses opened and opening. There are more businesses downtown, around Walmart and Gateway Village. Denison started recruiting retail so our sales tax would grow in Denison and we were not leaving any in other communities.”
He said sales tax is very important to a community to help offset property tax.
“The city has been doing a lot of work maintaining roads, replacing water lines and sewer lines throughout the city. Sales tax is a major source of revenue.”
Myers said the city has seen an upward trend of sales tax increases over the last few years. He said 2014 was the last year the city saw a flat growth in sales tax revenue.