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City’s sales tax revenues fund multiple projects

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By Terry Hagerty (Special to the BEDC)

BEDC share used for Chestnut/Main Street improvement projects

A steady increase in the annual sales tax reimbursements the City of Bastrop receives from the state has been an indicator of the city’s continuing economic health over the past decade. And both the City and the Bastrop Economic Development Corporation – the city’s main business recruiting arm – have funneled those monies back into major projects. For every taxable purchase made within Bastrop’s city limits, the state retains 6.25%, 0.50% goes to Bastrop County, 1.0% goes into the city’s general fund, and 0.50% is allocated to the Bastrop EDC.

Those seemingly small percentage figures can quickly add up in dollars, especially when Bastrop business is booming. For 2005, the City was reimbursed $2,713,965 in sales tax revenues; for 2014 the figures nearly doubled, to approximately $5.3 million, according to state figures.

Karla Stovall, the City’s Chief Financial Officer, said sustained commercial growth here is definitely boosting Bastrop’s sales tax revenues: “The city is continuing to show strong sales tax revenues, even after the 2011 fires,” Stovall said. “In the last five years commercial development has changed the landscape here,” particularly citing Burleson Crossing. “And when you compare the month-to-month sales tax figures across the years, it’s a strong increase,” Stovall added. For example, for one month’s figures in the summer of 2008 the city received back $291,130; for the same month in 2014, the reimbursement climbed to $404,026.

Stovall also touted the growth of the BEDC’s Business & Industrial Park off of Jackson Street and Hwy. 95. “The Industrial Park is making strong strides” in recruiting businesses and adding to sales tax receipts, she said.

BEDC's portion of sales tax revenues funded the Chestnut Street Improvement Project. (Photo by Terry Hagerty Photography)Mayor Pro Tem Willie DeLaRosa, also a member of the BEDC Board of Directors, talked about sales tax revenues funding key projects for the BEDC. “The Chestnut Street Improvement Project and the Alley B Improvement Project, as well as the Main Street Improvement Project planned for next year, were all funded by the BEDC – solely through sales tax revenues,” Delarosa said. “By using sales tax dollars for these improvements, Bastrop citizens don’t have to pay for them using funds from property taxes.”

DeLaRosa said he looks forward to the BEDC and the City of Bastrop partnering on future projects, such as Main Street and adding additional infrastructure improvements in the Business Park.

Gary Schiff, Vice-Chair of the BEDC Board of Directors, said, “The BEDC uses the tax money collected for economic development to make Bastrop more desirable for existing Bastrop companies, and outside enterprises to create more good job opportunities in Bastrop.”

 

BREAKING NEWS – Bastrop’s sales tax reimbursement for February 2015 was $598,361, the highest month ever!