WACO, TX — The City of Waco is now projecting to receive nearly $9 million extra in sales tax revenue for the year after receiving its June payment from the Texas Comptroller's Office.
The payment, based off of sales tax the city collected in April, was over 61 percent higher than April 2020 and 35 percent higher than April 2019.
The new sales tax revenue forecast totals to $44.9 million, up from the budgeted number of $36 million.
The city credits pent up demand, increased employment and stimulus funding as factors leading to this year's growth.
It's not clear what the city will do with the extra revenue just yet. Waco's budget director, Nicholas Sarpy, told 25 News that the city could amend the budget for the fiscal year, which runs until October, to put money towards infrastructure, city equipment or COVID-19 recovery.
Mark Arnold, general manager of Cameron Trading Co. on Austin Ave., has seen the city grow over the last 25 years.
"I remember me being the only business down here, and I mean the only business," Arnold said. "We've seen the fluctuation of how it all grows in Waco."
Arnold doesn't expect the growth to stop any time soon, especially with the popularity of Magnolia and support from the city.
"Once you have the city backing its own city and for the public, it'll just keep increasing, so I foresee that's gonna keep it going," Arnold said.
There's still potential for the year's nearly $45 million projection to grow even more.
"Based off of May's activity that we'll receive in July, that could impact our forecast for the year," Sarpy said.
Waco received the 23rd largest sales tax payout in the state this month, totaling over $4.2 million, but also had one of the largest growth rates when compared to last year.