Texas sales tax collections in June dropped 11.2 percent

Texans pulled back on buying and spending in June, as the state reported an 11.2 percent drop in sales tax revenues for the month, by far the largest decline this year.

The state comptroller's office announced Friday that it collected $1.57 billion in June, compared with $1.77 billion the same month last year.

"The oil and gas, construction and retail trade sectors showed continued weakness, resulting in a sharp decrease in sales tax collections in June," Comptroller Susan Combs said in a statement. "Contributing to the decrease was not only the weakness in these three sectors, but also the strong level of collections received from them in June 2008."

Sales tax payments to local cities and counties also declined 8.8 percent for July, as the state paid $426.7 million to local tax entities this month. The July payments were based on May sales taxes collected throughout the state

University of North Texas economist Bernard Weinstein said he is not surprised that areas where there are large quantities of upscale retail stores are feeling the economic recession more than other areas.

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