January Sales Tax Allocations Down Slightly

State sales tax revenue totaled $3.07 billion in January, 0.3 percent less than in January 2020, according to the latest report from Comptroller Glenn Hegar.

“The slight decline in total sales tax revenue masks starkly contrasting results among economic sectors, with strong gains in collections from retail trade offset by continued deep declines in collections from recreational services and the oil- and gas-related sectors,” Hegar said. “Stay-at-home spending trends that emerged in response to the COVID-19 pandemic continued through the Christmas shopping season, with elevated receipts coming from online vendors, electronics and appliance stores, building materials and home furnishings stores, big box general merchandisers and sporting goods stores.

“While oil and gas well drilling activity has risen from lows reached earlier in the pandemic, the December active rotary rig count for Texas was still more than 60 percent lower than a year ago, depressing sales tax receipts from mining, construction, manufacturing and equipment rental and leasing businesses.

“Receipts from restaurants also remained below levels seen a year ago, while receipts from recreational services — such as live music venues, amusement parks, bowling centers and fitness clubs — remained severely depressed.”

Total sales tax revenue for the three months ending in January 2020 was down 3.9 percent compared to the same period a year ago. Sales tax is the largest source of state funding for the state budget, accounting for 59 percent of all tax collections. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continued to be evident in some sources of revenue in January 2020.

Texas collected the following revenue from other major taxes:
•motor vehicle sales and rental taxes — $408 million, down 13.4 percent from January 2020;
•motor fuel taxes — $294 million, down 4.7 percent from January 2020;
•oil production tax — $255 million, down 35.7 percent from January 2020;
•natural gas production tax — $103 million, down 21.6 percent from January 2020;
•hotel occupancy tax — $27 million, down 35.1 percent from January 2020; and
•alcoholic beverage taxes — $94 million, down 27.6 percent from January 2020.

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