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The Market: Sales tax collections, consumer spending up in Montgomery County

Real Estate Agent with The Chevaux Group

The county's largest communities -- The Woodlands, Conroe -- and several smaller cities posted sizeable increases in sales tax revenue, a sign of increased consumer spending locally.

That's good news and a strong sign of a growing market. Underlying consumer demand and growth in the economy is the foundation for home sales.

The good news came from the monthly sales tax allocation report released Wednesday, Nov. 9 by state Comptroller Susan Combs.

Conroe City Administrator Paul Virgadamo touched on the news at Thursday morning's Board of Director's meeting for the Greater Conroe/Lake Conroe Area Chamber of Commerce.

"Conroe's sales tax is up 10.6 percent," Virgadamo said. "We have climbed out of a hole we found ourselves a couple of years ago, and we are on the positive side."

The recession dug a hole for Conroe and many others cities throughout Texas as consumer spending dried up and sent sales tax collections revenue plummeting.

But the numbers for Conroe, The Woodlands and many other cities have been rising steadily for a year. Consumers are spending more, putting more money in local businesses, and yielding more revenue for local cities.

This chart shows the percent increase (or decrease, in some cases) for the county's top cities:

The good news was generally reflected statewide, according to the Comptroller's Office.

According to a comptroller press release, Texas Comptroller Susan Combs said that state sales tax revenue in October was $1.87 billion, up 15.9 percent compared to October 2010.

"Strong growth in business sectors such as the oil and natural gas industry boosted sales tax revenue for yet another month," Combs said. "State sales tax revenue has now increased for 19 consecutive months. Sales tax also grew in the manufacturing industry, as well as consumer sectors such as the restaurant industry and retail trade."

The sales tax figures represent September sales reported by monthly tax filers and July, August and September sales reported by quarterly filers.