They'll take the revenue — but there is an unpleasant caveat.
That was the reaction of Brownwood Finance Director Walter Middleton to the modest growth in the city's April sales tax allocation when compared to the April 2012 allocation.
The 2.7 percent growth from last April was fueled by "an extremely large and unusual audit collection of $52,587," Middleton said. The audit collection was mostly the result of a single taxpayer who had been underpaying. Without that audit collection, Middleton said, Brownwood's allocation would have been down 7.2 percent from last April., which was discovered in an audit for a 3 1/2-year period that ended in August 2006.
"April sales tax allocations brings with it a very mixed bag of news," Middleton said.
April allocations represent February sales. Blanket was the only other Brown County municipality that saw an increase from April 2012 to April 2013.
The case involving the audit had been in appeals for awhile and was finally settled, Middleton said. The settlement represented an adjustment of $2.6 million in reallocations from nontaxable to taxable transactions over a 3 1/2-year period.
Counting the audit collection, Brownwood's allocation for April was $471,679, compared with $459,128 in April 2012.
"While it is certainly nice to get that much revenue all at once, it does show the folly of looking only at the net payment amount to make any kind of judgment concerning the local economy," Middleton said. "The drop in current period collections is fairly significant and a cause for some concern. We'll see if the trend continues.
"It's just not a good indication. If we are trying to analyze the economy this indicates the economy did not do as well locally" as it did a year ago.
Year-to-date, Brownwood's allocations total $1.97 million, which is .02 percent lower than last year's amount which, when rounded, is also $1.97 million.
Early's allocation of $72,423 was 2.6 percent lower than last April's allocation of $74,327. Year-to-date, Early's allocations total $326,568, a 2.3 percent decrease from last year's $334,157.
Blanket's April allocation of $1,353 was 1.3 percent lower than last April's $1,329. Year-to-date, Blanket's allocations total $6,301, a 10 percent decrease from last year's $7,001.
Bangs received $7,921 in April a 9.4 percent decrease from last April's $8,742. Year-to-date, Bangs has received $39,509, a 2.7 percent decrease from last year's $39,670.
The total for all four municipalities in April was $553,377, a 1. percent increase from last April's $543,527. Year-to-date, allocations total $2.34 million, a .41 percent decrease from last year's $2.35 million.
State Comptroller Susan Combs said sales tax revenue in March — also a reflection of February sales — was $1.98 billion, up 5.5 percent compared to March 2012.
“Sales tax revenue growth was seen in both the business and consumer sectors of the economy,” Combs said. “Collections grew in sectors such as manufacturing and retail trade. Sales tax revenue has now increased for 36 consecutive months.”
Combs sent cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts their April local sales tax allocations totaling $521.9 million, up 6.8 percent compared to April 2012.