The industrial boom across Waxahachie and Ellis County has also resulted in a nine percent increase for the City of Waxahachie in 2018, according to documents from the Texas Comptroller’s Office.
Sales tax collections for the city totaled to $17,958,818 from January through December, according to the comptroller’s report. The earnings from the year previous show a collections total of $16,759,844, which correlates to a nine percent growth from 2017 to 2018.
Economic development director Doug Barnes said the growth in sales tax revenue isn’t necessarily due to the city’s growth in population, but rather its growth in business. Waxahachie’s sales tax revenues have increased by over $8,111,575 since 2010, according to the comptroller’s report.
He explained that growth was due to Waxahachie’s increased business footprint – especially near and along U.S. Highway 77.
“As we started going north, the marketplace came in,” Barnes stated. “Therefore, our sales tax has increased.”
Texas imposes a 6.25 percent sales-and-use tax on all retail sales, leases, taxable services and rentals of most goods, according to the comptroller’s office. Local taxing jurisdictions can also impose up to a two percent sales tax for a maximum combined rate of 8.25 percent, which is where Waxahachie’s current rate is set.
Since the city takes two cents from the total amount collected, Barnes explained that the city economy would have to generate over $840 million a year to make $17 million in sales tax collections.
With Waxahachie serving a four-county area including Ellis, Navarro, Johnson and Hill counties, Barnes said much of their business comes from outside of Waxahachie. Showbiz Cinemas CEO Kevin Mitchell remarked that a survey his company conducted several years ago shows that 72 percent of their customers were coming from outside of the city limits.
“We’re pulling people from a great distance,” Mitchell remarked. “ShowBiz is a destination zone, without question. We bring outside dollars in.”
Barnes estimated that they serve about 75,000-130,000 people within a 15-20 minute drive time of Waxahachie.
“That is the traffic corridor of buying power coming into our community on a daily basis,” Barnes remarked. “That’s why these businesses are so successful. We’re not just serving the citizens of Waxahachie.”
Barnes explained that the sales tax makes up for approximately 34 percent of the city’s annual budget. He also noted that, in addition to property taxes, the revenue primarily makes up for the city’s general fund.
“It generates additional dollars going into the general fund to be used for infrastructure, capital improvements,” Barnes remarked. “As the sales tax continues to grow, the city will have an opportunity to initiate different forms of quality of life issues for the citizens that are living here. It will help our community to be better.”
The fourth quarter grossed the most collections at $4,771,143, according to the report. Barnes explained the fourth quarter is usually the highest grosser out of the year due to the holiday season and related sales promotions around that time.
“You go into these stores, and they’ll have eight or nine checkout lines,” Barnes expressed. “And they’re 10-15 deep on a regular sales day!”
With several other businesses on the way, Barnes remarked that it’s an exciting time to be in Waxahachie.
“If we continue in this growth pattern, we’ll hit the billion dollar mark in the next four years,” Barnes stated.