Business is good, and likely to get better.
    That’s Early City Administrator Tony Aaron’s assessment of the city’s sales tax allocation for April, which boasted a stout 22 percent increase over the the April 2015 allocation.
    April allocations reflect February sales.
    Early received an allocation in April of $93,991, compared with April 2015’s $76,922.
    “For the last 24 months, our sales tax collection has seen a positive growth 22 out of those 24 months,” Aaron said via email. “For the last 10 months we have maintained an increase averaging over 10 percent per reporting period.
    “Our local sales tax dollars collected have had increases of around $300,000 annually since 2013. This month, the 22 percent increase continues to reinforce that our local economy is steadily on the incline. We are optimistic with the opening of new retail businesses and the new hotel expected over the next year, that these increases will continue. Right now business is good in Early and we see it getting better.”
    Year-to-date, Early’s allocations total $416,931, a 14.9 percent decline from last year’s $490,094. The figure shows as a decrease because a large one-time audit payment of $134,000 in 2015, from a business that had been underpaying its sales tax, skewered the numbers.
    Brownwood also saw a strong increase of 5.2 percent — $516,354, compared with April 2015’s $490,654.
    “While the allocation increase is welcome, the information as it relates to our local economy is even better,” City Finance Director Walter Middleton said via email.
    That’s because the April allocation included a negative swing in a category known as “other period collections” from last year, Middleton said. There are several scenarios including an audit that could have affected that category, Middleton said.
     Focusing only on the current period collection shows an increase of $49,208 or 10.4 percent, Middleton said.
     Through seven months of the fiscal year, the city is $191,207 or 6.6 percent higher than last year, Middleton said.
     “We have five months to go and I am optimistic about how we should finish our year,” Middleton said, referring to the fiscal year.
     Bangs saw a 32.5 percent increase with an April allocation of $12,108,  compared with last April’s $9,133. Year-to-date, Bangs’ allocations total $47,495, a 2.4 percent increase over last year’s $8,188.
    Blanket’s allocation of $1,867  reflected a 1 percent decrease from last April’s 1,887. Year-to-date, Blanket’s allocations total $7,870, a 3.9 percent decrease from last year’s $8,188.
    Allocations for all four Brown County municipalities totaled $624,321, a 7.9 percent increase from last April’s $578,598. Year-to-date, allocations total $2.86 million, a 3.2 percent increase over last year’s $2.77 million.
    Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced he will send cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts $591.4 million in local sales tax allocations for April, 2.6 percent more than in April 2015.
These allocations are based on sales made in February by businesses that report tax monthly.
“The cities of Dallas, Austin, Sugar Land and Fort Worth saw substantial increases in sales tax allocations that helped stop a four-month streak of declining sales tax allocations for the state overall,” Hegar said. “Energy-centric cities such as Houston and Midland continue to see decreases in sales tax allocations.”