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Comptroller News


SALES TAXES

State and local sales tax revenues rise

Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn announced in June that the state received $1.45 billion in sales tax revenue in May, up 10.7 percent compared with May 2004. Strayhorn sent $344.8 million in June sales tax allocations to cities, counties, transit systems and special-purpose taxing districts, up 6.2 percent compared with June 2004. Since January 2005, sales tax allocations to local governments are running 6.8 percent ahead of 2004.

Strayhorn said May's 10.7 percent increase in sales tax collections follows an 8.1 percent decline in April, but does not indicate an economic shift. Adjusting for the Comptroller's successful tax amnesty program in 2004, April state sales tax revenue increased 3.6 percent compared with April 2004.

Strayhorn sent June sales tax allocations of $233.4 million to Texas cities, up 5.5 percent compared with June 2004. Calendar year to date, city sales tax allocations are up 7 percent compared with 2004. Texas counties received sales tax payments of $20.3 million, up 6.1 percent compared to 2004. Calendar year to date, county sales tax allocations are 9.8 percent higher than in 2004.


LEGISLATURE

Strayhorn certifies House Bill 10; budget process complete

In June, Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn completed her constitutional responsibility in reviewing House Bill 10 and announced the measure passed by the 2005 Texas Legislature is balanced.

"While I am certifying House Bill 10, that does not mean that I agree with all the budget decisions made," Strayhorn said.

House Bill 10 drained $1.9 billion out of the state's Rainy Day Fund, Strayhorn said.

"Since I was sworn in as Comptroller I have said we need to be like hard-working Texas families--spend wisely, invest wisely and save for a rainy day," she said. "That is not the case here."


LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Comptroller needs sheriff and constable fee information

State law allows the commissioners court of a county to set reasonable fees for services provided by the offices of the sheriff and constable.

The commissioners court must provide written notice of the amounts of the fees to the Comptroller on or before October 15 of the year in which the fees are set. The Comptroller will compile the fee information and send the report to each county commissioners court before December 15.

The Comptroller will also send the report to the State Bar of Texas and to any statewide association of counties or of county officers that requests it in writing.

For more information, contact the Local Government Assistance section at local.govt@cpa.state.tx.us or by phone at 1-800-531-5441, extension 5-9844.


LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Comptroller posts protocols

The Comptroller's Local Government Assistance Division (LGA) drafted revised local government audit protocols to help local governments meet greater demand for services with limited resources. Local governments can use these protocols, which LGA uses to conduct reviews, as a self-assessment guide.

To ensure that LGA addresses the needs of local governments, however, Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn is soliciting comments from local officials. A copy of the protocols was mailed to every city and county in the state. The protocols are available at www.window.state.tx.us/lga/lgmr/protocols/. LGA will accept comments through August 31, 2005. Comments may be sent to local.govt@cpa.state.tx.us or call 1-800-531-5441, extension 3-4679.