For May 2021, Roanoke reported $2.1 million in sales tax revenue compared to $1.4 million in 2020. This latest number also surpasses revenue from 2018 and 2019—$1.3 million was collected in 2018 and $1.8 million in 2019.
“We are actually currently ahead of where we were at the same point last year,” said Vicki Rodriquez, director of fiscal and administrative services. “We're still seeing an upward trend in our sales tax where we're not really losing any ground. Even during the pandemic, we haven't really lost any ground.”
Rodriquez attributes Roanoke’s success to the city’s diverse tax base, which allowed the city to not rely on a sole source of revenue.
“You've got your Walmarts and your Home Depots and places like that that were able to continue their business as usual,” she said.
According to the office of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, this growth trend has been seen across the state. On May 12, Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced nearly $1.1 billion in monthly sales tax revenue was distributed to local governments.
This is a 28.4% increase from May 2020 and a 21.9% increase from May 2019.
While the increasing trend seen in Roanoke is positive for the city, Rodriquez said it is still too early to determine how this increased revenue will affect the budget.
“The thing about sales tax is, although we've been exceeding our budget and staying on track with sales taxes, because of the pandemic, we saw declines in other revenue sources—particularly in our parks and recreation and municipal court, and in some of those other areas, (such as) building permits,” Rodriquez said. “The sales tax kind of just helped to offset those losses.”