San Angelo Sales Tax Receipts See First Decline in 4.5 Years

 

San Angelo’s high-flying economic ride is over for now said Phil Neighbors, president of the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce. “For the first time in 54 months, or about 4.5 years, San Angelo’s sales tax receipts have declined,” he said, looking over recent sales tax collections and a revenue chart that the chamber compiles for its members every month. The chamber compares monthly sales tax receipts and compares them to the same month a year prior.

The city and county governments here benefit from sales tax revenue, currently set at 8.25 percent. The city gets 1 percent, and the City of San Angelo Development Corporation receives 0.5 percent. The county receives 0.5 percent and the rest goes to the State of Texas Comptroller.

 

Tom Green County Sales Tax Distribution
Taxing EntityRate
City of San Angelo1.00%
City of San Angelo Development Corp. (COSA-DC)0.50%
Tom Green County0.50%
State of Texas6.25%
TOTAL8.25%

Source: City of San Angelo

Neighbors considers sales tax revenue a key indicator of the economic condition of San Angelo. In his November 2015 report that measures Aug. 2015 sales tax receipts, revenue was down 8 percent in an Aug. 2015 to Aug. 2015 comparison. Year-to-date, the picture isn’t as bad. Total 2015 receipts through Aug. 2015 are down only 0.5 percent when compared to the first eight months of 2014.

 

San Angelo Chamber November Report
August 2015 Sales Tax Revenue Comparisons
JurisdictionAug. 2015 vs. Aug. 2014YTD, 2015 vs. 2014
San Angelo-8.0%-0.5%
TEXAS1.84.1%
Abilene-0.6%1.7%
Amarillo4.4%2.9%
El Paso1.4%4.3%
Lubbock5.5%4.4%
Lubbock5.5%4.4%
Midland-16.1%-5.5%
Odessa-14.9%-5.5%
Austin7.0%7.6%
Dallas8.7%6.8%
Fort Worth-0.8%4.8%
Houston-2.2%2.9%
San Antonio4.0%4.1%
Waco7.8%6.9%

Compiled by the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce from Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts data.

Neighbors said from his experience, like most economic stories, San Angelo’s is cyclical, and these downturns last about 15 months. “The last downturn was from 2009-2010. And even before the energy sector took off with the oil boom, we were in recovery by 2010,” Neighbors said. When the oil boom hit in 2012, it drove up average sales tax receipts to an unprecedented 4.5 years of 8-percent annual growth.

“For this downturn, I think everyone was prepared; and, we haven’t seen a dramatic drop,” Neighbors said.

The effects of the downturn are cushioned by San Angelo’s diversified economy, particularly with the public sector: Goodfellow Air Force Base and the two colleges, Angelo State University and Howard College.

“Midland and Odessa have higher highs and lower lows than San Angelo,” Neighbors said, because the Midland DMA is more dependent upon energy. He added, “San Angelo is not standing still just because the energy sector is down.”

Goodfellow AFB has added two courses, increasing the number of local jobs by 142, 17th Wing Public Affairs Officer Lt. Nathanial Roesner said. The reported increase includes military payroll, civil service employees and contractors. An Army Morse Code course was added, and a U.S. Marine Corps signal intelligence course was too, he said.

Neighbors stated the chamber worked with Governor Greg Abbott’s office to obtain a state-funded grant to rehabilitate an old building on Goodfellow AFB to usher in the growth. A higher head count of students at Goodfellow means more growth for the retail and services sector, Neighbors argues.

At Angelo State University, student growth is making new records, bringing in more revenue to the local economy. ASU enrolled a record 8,521 students in 2015, compared to the previous record in 2011 of 7,084. The principle reason was growth in graduate students and a new dual credit program for area high school students. The number of undergraduate students grew slightly from 5,346 in 2014 to 5,411 in 2015. Total revenue into Angelo State University the 2014-2015 academic year tops $148 million, supporting 888 faculty and staff, according to Angie Wright, Vice President of Finance and Administration at ASU.

“There are still great opportunities because of public sector,” Neighbors said, pointing towards the retail and services sectors of the local economy. The silver lining for these two sectors is human resources.

“Costs have stabilized and labor is more plentiful,” he said.

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Comments

It seems that our wonderful city is behind the "Eight Ball" again. Our city wanted to be like the other big cities along the interstate, but kept taking the ostrich in sand concept.

We have two saving graces ASU and Goodfellow. Water is no longer the only thing we can moan and groan about. Our taxes are high already and the only way we can meet the minimum standards is to raise the taxes, charge more for water, stop all new development, cut back on city services, lay off half the city employees,including Fire and Police and let the county have full reign on San Angelo. Probably should close all the new motels since no money will make up for the losses.

I would like to see the price of rent go down. Housing is way too high in San Angelo.

The reason the rent is so high in San Angelo is the artificial inflation of property values caused by realtors selling houses at high prices because they took advantage of the temporary high-paying oil field jobs. The Tax Appraisal District adjusted their valuations upwards to reflect similar values. The jobs are gone now, but we're stuck with the high taxes which are passed on to renters. This is not good for the regular San Angelo folks.

I'm sure everyone noticed all the big diesel 4X4 trucks these roughnecks bought. They wasted their money on $50k trucks with $20k of aftermarket mods. They should have saved their money or spent it more wisely. Our City acted just the same. They all thought we'd never see another poor day. The City should have spent that extra tax money on our roads and infrastructure while we had it, rather than wasting it on beautification projects. We may likely never see another oil boom again any time soon. If we do, we need City leaders who realize these booms are temporary, always have been, always will.

The wise will learn from the mistakes of others. If you can look to the left or right and not let what that person has or doesn't have influence your decision to overextend yourself, you'll weather this and be ready for the next boom when the rest of those clowns have busted credit scores on 4x4s and homes they never should have chased. We're all still pumping gas into our cars/trucks; oil will come back again. It's a matter of time and patience. There's too much political instability and stupidity going on in the Middle East for oil prices to continue to stay this low. It will be a buyer's real estate market for a little while again...jump at it while you can!!

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