Texas sales tax revenues continue to surge

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DALLAS – Texas sales tax revenue soared 10.2% in May, setting a ninth consecutive monthly record, according to a report from Comptroller Glenn Hegar.

“Strong growth in sales tax revenue was apparent across all major economic sectors,” Hegar said of the $2.76 billion collected in April and tabulated in May. “While the most rapid growth was in remittances from the construction and oil- and gas-related sectors, significant gains also came from information services, restaurants and retail trade.”

Total sales tax revenue for the three months ending in May 2018 was up 10.4% compared to the same period a year ago.

Sales tax revenue is the largest source of funding for the state budget, accounting for 58% of all tax collections.

Revenue from other major taxes on motor vehicle sales and rentals, motor fuel and oil and natural gas production also rose in May, Hegar said.

Motor vehicle sales and rental taxes revenue of $424 million rose 11.7% from May 2017. Motor fuel taxes rose 1.8% to $309.9 million.

With oil prices climbing to near $70 per barrel, oil and natural gas production taxes for the month climbed 56% to $416.5 million.

Hegar noted that franchise taxes applied to businesses in the state are showing strong growth of 11.3% for the year to date.

“As anticipated in the Certification Revenue Estimate, lower refund activity early in the fiscal year contributed to higher than average net franchise tax collections,” Hegar said.

The Texas economy added 39,600 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs in April, which marked 22 consecutive months of employment growth, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.

Over the year, Texas added 332,300 jobs for an annual employment growth rate of 2.7% in April. Private sector employers added 37,900 positions over the month. Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.1% in April, up slightly from 4% in March.

“Texas employers continue to boost the impressive Texas economy by adding 39,600 jobs in April and 332,300 jobs over the year,” said TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar. “Our state’s ongoing trajectory of success is linked to the innovation and competitiveness of employers in a range of industries providing workers more opportunities to demonstrate their world-class skills.”

The Manufacturing Industry recorded the largest private-industry employment gain over the month with 8,600 jobs added. Professional and Business Services employment grew by 7,500 jobs in April, followed by Education and Health Services with 6,200 jobs.

“Texas employers added 327,500 jobs over the past year, making our state’s annual private-sector employment growth 3.2% for April, up from 2.9% in March,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Ruth R. Hughs.

Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area in the heart of the oil-producing Permian Basin recorded the month’s lowest unemployment rate among Texas MSAs with a non-seasonally adjusted rate of 2.1%, followed by the Amarillo MSA, which had the second lowest with a rate of 2.6% The College Station-Bryan MSA recorded the third lowest rate of 2.7% for April.

“The Texas labor force is now approaching 14 million and has continued to provide employers with the skills and expertise needed to keep the Texas economy growing,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “TWC and the 28 local workforce development boards are committed to connecting Texas workers with available jobs.”

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