September sales tax revenue in Texas down 6.1% from a year ago

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Texas collected about $2.6 billion in state sales tax revenue in September, state Comptroller Glenn Hegar said Thursday. That total is 6.1% less than what the state collected in September 2019.

"The COVID-19 pandemic and low price of crude oil continue to weigh on the Texas economy and sales tax revenue," Hegar said in a news release. "As was the case the last month, state sales tax receipts from all major sectors, other than retail trade, were down compared with the same month last year, with the steepest declines in the oil and gas-related sectors."

State sales tax revenue is the state's single largest source of funding. The total revenue for July, August and September this year, Hegar said Thursday, was down 2.5% compared to the same period in 2019.

Receipts from restaurants, Hegar said, are still "significantly below pre-pandemic levels." Receipts from big box retailers generally increased, he said, while department stores and apparel stores saw a decline.

Other sources of state revenue are still being impacted by economic shutdowns related to the coronavirus pandemic. For example, Texas collected $78 million in revenue from alcoholic beverage taxes in September — down 33.7% from the same month last year. Earlier this month, Gov. Greg Abbott said restaurants in the state could expand dine-in service to 75% capacity but that bars must remain closed.

Another major tax, the hotel occupancy tax, is also down about 37% in revenue from the same month last year.

"September sales tax revenue in Texas down 6.1% from a year ago" was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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