WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — As city officials expected, the sales tax rebate for April is down from this time last year.
The June report reflects April sales and there’s a more than 11.6% decrease.
Retail owners are describing what sales have looked like in the past few months.
“The first couple of weeks of May were very, very depressing,” Hello Again owner Jan Saville said.
Saville owns the consignment boutique shop in the World’s Littlest Skyscraper building downtown.
She said things are looking up, as the store is doing about 80% in revenue right now after paying less than $20.00 in sales taxes in April.
“Unfortunately for us, curbside was not really viable, we are one of a kind things, you have to come in touch ’em, see ’em and feel ’em,” Saville said.
Overall the state saw an 11.1% dip in sales tax revenue for April.
“We did really good in April actually, I was really nervous but we did really good in April,” Gigi’s Closet owner Geneva Guerra said.
Gigi’s Closet, also located downtown, was able to sell masks during the month of April.
Guerra is appreciative of those who spent their dollars locally.
“We’re just like the little people that are trying our best to provide for our family as well,” Guerra said.
Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce CEO Henry Florsheim said the report is actually better than what the city planned for April, but he adds there’s still much up in the air.
“I was on a webinar a couple of weeks ago with a tax expert talking about long term ramifications of this and they were projecting it might take three, four, five years before cities get back to their 2019 sales tax collection numbers,” Florsheim said.
Tourism is one of those things that helps build a city’s sales tax revenue, but the World’s Littlest Skyscraper isn’t getting much attention.
“On any typical day, I would usually have maybe 30 to 40 visitors,” Saville, who also runs the World’s Littlest Skyscraper, said. “I think we’re probably maybe at 10.”
Almost everything was closed in April. Now open signs are up, with retailers and city officials hoping revenue goes up with them.
Some cities in the area, like Electra, didn’t see as much of a drop while some saw a large increase in sales tax revenue, like Iowa Park with 34%.