Sales tax in Henrietta spike despite COVID-19

Local News

HENRIETTA (KFDX/KJTL) — In March, several stores in Henrietta closed their doors to the public while only providing curbside services. Despite the concerns over how businesses in rural towns will continue to operate during this pandemic, things have been good on their sales tax.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Things have been touch and go for small-town business owners in Henrietta.

“We did gather all our employees together and inform them that we were going to be closed the week after and told them we would come up with a game plan for our carryout,” Bull Malarkey’s owner Jeralyn Parkey said.

However, the COVID-19 crisis has had an unexpected positive effect on the local economy.

“We expected to take a hit like the governor has been warning the state about,” Henrietta Economic Development Director Rick Langford said. “We get our sales tax two months after it has been collected, and we are now looking at April and we are actually up 14%.”

Langford said this may be because people are buying local to avoid the crowds in larger towns.

“I really do believe the biggest effect on sales tax is people aren’t traveling to Wichita Falls to shop,” Langford said. “They are staying away from crowds and people and shopping at home.”

One local resident and smoke shop employee agrees saying most customers that come into the shop claim, it saves them money.

“It saves them on gas ’cause a lot of people from Bellvue, they come here instead of going all the way to Wichita for the smoke shop they come here,” Smoke Shop employee Dale Alford said.

While coronavirus continues to linger, some hope to keep their businesses running that have been around for years.

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