Sales tax allocations the cities of Brownwood and Early received from the state this month — reflecting May sales — soared over July 2007’s rebates, and officials said economic stimulus payments might be partly responsible.

The government began dispersing stimulus payments in May.

Brownwood’s allocation this month was $461,546, an 8.7 percent increase over July 2007’s allocation of $424,571. Last month, Brownwood’s allocation declined slightly from June 2007, and allocations in March, April and May had reflected slow growth.

“Fantastic,” Brownwood Finance Director Walter Middleton said of this month’s healthy increase. “Of course, that represents May sales. That’s when our economic stimulus payments started going out. Maybe that’s it.

“After having a down month in June, that’s encouraging. You bet we’ll take it.”

Year-to-date, Brownwood’s allocations total $3.36 million, a 1.9 percent increase over last year’s $3.30 million.

Early’s allocation this month of $78,324 reflected a 7.3 percent increase over July 2007’s allocation of $72,952.

Year to date figures in Early are up just over 1 percent, to $608,000 from $602,000.

Mayor Bob Mangrum agreed the economic stimulus payments could be a factor, coupled with the recent openings of new businesses.

“There’s no absolute knowledge of why,” Mangrum said. “It’s encouraging.”

For Bangs, the July allocation was $9,479, a 70 percent increase over last July’s $5,294. Year-to-date for Bangs totaled $70,543, a 78 percent increase over last year’s 39,605. The city has started collecting economic development sales taxes in recent months.

Blanket’s July allocation was $1,117, a 70 percent increase over last July’s allocation of $665. Year-to-date allocations totaled $7,551, a 4.5 percent increase over last year’s $7,227.

The total allocation for all four municipalities in July was $550,467, a 9.3 percent increase over last July’s $503,477. Year-to-date, the allocations totaled $4 million, a 2.5 percent increase over last year’s $3.9 million.