December marks the sixth consecutive month of record-breaking sales tax allocations and the first time that Marble Falls has surpassed $10 million in sales tax collections in a 12-month period, according to the Marble Falls Economic Development Corp.
Since the beginning of the year, Marble Falls has received $10 million in sales tax allocations, outpacing the $9.5 million allocated for the same time period the previous year. It’s unclear how much of this boost in sales taxes is attributable to online sales or other areas at the moment, but more detailed numbers are forthcoming.
“If we’re looking at notes and what’s been happening since the beginning of COVID, it’s mainly that we have the right mix of businesses,” said EDC Executive Director Christian Fletcher. “We have essential businesses that serve the regional trade area that have been very successful, and we have enough boutiques and destination dining options that tourists feel comfortable coming out.”
While Marble Falls has somewhat followed the state trend all year in sales tax revenue, the city has outperformed Texas as a whole every month, Fletcher said.
The state as a whole is down slightly overall (-2.51 percent) due in part to the struggles of larger cities.
“… It’s been such a weird year, and, obviously, there have been impacts and we’ve seen a few business closures, but we have fared so much better than other communities,” Fletcher said.
Also benefiting in recent months are budget hotels, due to waves of contractor activity, and destination hotels, which saw a summer bump consistent with the economic recovery.
“Our hotel receipts have been really, really good, especially when compared to the state,” Fletcher said.
Holiday events and shopping could be a reason for the seasonal boost.
“This time of year, in particular with Walkway of Lights and the (temporary ice) skating rink now, so many traditions have been impacted by COVID and organizations have made some difficult decisions on whether they can continue doing those things or not,” Fletcher said.
“I have to applaud the chamber and the city for forging ahead with those things,” he added. “They’re outdoors. It’s pretty easy to maintain social distancing. Apparently, it’s done very well and people have responded favorably to having those things going on in Marble Falls.”
Burnet had sales tax receipts for December climb 15.62 percent from 2019’s numbers to $245,503.89. For the year to date, the city has seen a 14.87 percent bump over the previous year to $2.7 million.
Granite Shoals had a slight increase of 2.40 percent to $32,204.90 this month. Annual tax revenues are up a significant 18.09 percent to $416,785.86
Horseshoe Bay’s receipts at $120,976.74 were down 6.15 percent in December compared to last December. For the year so far, it has seen a drawdown by 9.83 percent in annual revenues to $1.4 million.