NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The 12-month decline in sales tax revenue for Nacogdoches ended in April. More good news came this week for the month of May. Yesterday's report from the state comptroller's office shows that Nacogdoches sales tax revenue totaled $464,056.66. That's an 18.25 percent increase over a year ago.
When Nacogdoches financial director Pam Curbow went online to check the numbers, her reaction surprised the city manager.
"I was in Mr Jeffers office, and I think I scared him because I think I squealed and jumped. I was very excited to see maybe we have turned that corner," Curbow said.
Jim Jeffers, the Nacogdoches city manager, is a man of caution.
"It's too early to tell whether or not this is the beginning of a trend," Jeffers reminded economic developers.
So the number crunching begins.
"Absolutely, the information we received from the comptroller, which is confidential, so we're not allowed to share it, allows us to bore down and look and see, look at each category to see where we're up, where we're down, where we're the same," Jeffers said.
The city manager said any number of factors can lead to the report's results. A business might conduct a sales tax payment in one lump sum. Or a business may be doing an expansion that no one knows about.
Meanwhile, Nacogdoches continues to be marketed locally, such as in the campaign, Shop Nac First.
"You know we're all in the same mode of trying to promote the idea of shopping locally because that does keep those dollars still working here in town, so that's just one part of the puzzle," said Nacogdoches Chamber CEO, Bruce Partain.
Tourism dollars are also important. About 20,000 people are expected to attend the Texas blueberry festival on Saturday. It may very well provide the momentum this city needs to maintain a healthy sales tax revenue.
"This is actually the biggest time of year for our downtown merchants. Some of them have already started those specials this week and so our downtown merchants do a ton of business," said Main Street manager, Sarah O'Brien.
The over 170 vendors at the festival have a role, too. They will be required to report their sales tax in Nacogdoches.