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Total Sales +
Retail Sales
by David Stanowski
27 July 2009


The State of Texas levies sales tax on 22 categories of business transactions. The Comptroller posts the sales reports quarterly. The following graph plots the total gross sales for all 22 categories in the City of Galveston from 2002 to 2008. Total Sales remained strong into 2007, and show only a slight dip in 2008, probably primarily due to Hurricane Ike.


The next graph shows the Annual Rate of change, i.e. momentum of Total Sales. Normally, momentum peaks before prices giving a clue to up coming price changes. The Annual Rate of Change peaked in 2006.



The next graph breaks out one of the most critical of the 22 categories from the Total Sales shown above. Retail Sales peaked in 2005, dipped, made a slight new high in 2007, and then dropped in 2008, probably primarily due to Hurricane Ike.


The final graph shows the Annual Rate of change, i.e. momentum of Retail Sales. Normally, momentum peaks before prices giving a clue to up coming price changes. The Annual Rate of Change has been dropping since 2005.

The good news is that considering the damage done by Hurricane Ike, the data could have been a lot worse. Unfortunately, it will probably be another three months before 1Q 2009 data is available.


 

Mixed Beverage Taxes
by David Stanowski
03 July 2009


"By law, all mixed beverage and private club permit holders remit to the State Comptroller a 14% gross receipts tax on their mixed beverage sales each month.

Following the end of each calendar quarter, 10.7143% of the tax paid is allocated to the county where each business is located. For any business located within an incorporated city, another 10.7143% of the tax paid is allocated to the city where it is located.

The remaining tax is distributed to the State's General Revenue Fund. Those quarterly allocation payments to the cities and counties are summarized in the Mixed Beverage Tax Allocation Histories. The payments are listed according to the month in which they were distributed and totaled for each calendar year.

Mixed Beverage Tax allocation amounts are dependent upon the timing and accuracy of taxpayers' returns and payments, but generally represent taxes remitted to the Comptroller's office during the calendar quarter immediately preceding the month the allocation is distributed."


From 1991 to 1997 the taxes paid to the City on mixed beverage sales stayed in a narrow range near $200,000. After that, they accelerated up to $482,454 in 2008.

 

The quarterly data shows that mixed beverage sales peaked in 4Q 2007, and the plunge in 1Q 2009 represents sales in 4Q 2008; when Hurricane Ike put many bars out of business. However, it is unclear why the last data point, in 2Q 2009, which would be sales in January, February and March 2009 is still far below recent quarterly sales.

Are bar owners very late in paying their taxes, or are sales off this much because people are drinking at home more?



The year-over-year rate of change of mixed beverage sales peaked in 2Q 2006, and the current plunge shows how dramatic sales, or at least tax collections have slipped.


Does anyone have an idea what's going on here?




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