For the first time ever, hard hit governments whose sales tax revenue has declined since Hurricane Rita have been offered relief. If they wish, local governments can receive an additional sales tax allocation in November and December.
Sales tax allocations are down $2.3 million in 73 Southeast Texas cities and special purpose districts. Hemphill's sales tax is down by 30%. Communities like that could benefit from the no interest loan.
Nacogdoches only saw a 7.4% drop and has a better cash flow. For now, Nacogdoches is opting out of the offer, said Emergency Management Coordinator Victoria LaFollett-Koenig. "We don't think we want to do it. That's not that big of a deficit. We feel we're going to be fine for the year - that we're going to come out, meet budget, and it's going all right. We'll look at it again in December. We really think October sales are going to be higher."
Communities accepting the offer will make repayment next year.