sales tax

7:21 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Study: Amazon's Sales Tax Sends Shoppers Elsewhere

Requiring Amazon to charge state sales tax has sent many consumers looking for other tax-free options, according to a new study for the National Bureau of Economic Research.

In 2012, Texas Comptroller Susan Combs reached an agreement with Amazon to collect sales tax on items sold to Texans. Because Amazon has a "physical presence" in Texas - its distribution center in Irving - Combs said Amazon should have been collecting state sales tax on online sales. She agreed to drop her demands for $269 million in taxes if Amazon promised to create 2,500 jobs and spend $200 million in capital investments.

But after Amazon started charging sales tax in Texas, its sales in this state dropped by 11 percent, according to researchers.

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5:20 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Sales Tax Holiday Set for Second Weekend in August

The tax-free weekend could give Texans a $74 million break.
Todd Wiseman & Mikhail Popov, Texas Tribune

The state’s annual sales-tax-free weekend is a little earlier this year, but there’s still time to get ready.

Coming up on the weekend of August 9 to 11, Texas shoppers can save the sales tax on most clothing and back-to-school stuff priced under $100.

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4:53 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Sales Tax Holiday to Give You a Break on Efficient Appliances

Energy Star appliances aim to save on the electric bill.

If you’re thinking of buying an appliance anytime soon, you might want to circle Memorial Day weekend on your calendar. The state’s annual Energy Star sales tax holiday runs May 25- 27.

Dub Taylor with the State Energy Conservation Office says they want to encourage people with the idea that after you save on sales tax, you’ll also save on your electric bill.

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4:07 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Sales Tax Revenue Up 5 Percent in Austin

Statewide, the sales tax brought in 4 percent more last month.

The growth of Austin means people are spending more money; today we got a measure of that. Sales tax collections in the city grew almost 5 percent in April compared to the same month last year.

Some cities around Austin saw a major jump in sales tax collections.

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2:34 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

U.S. Senate Poised To Approve Online Sales Tax Bill

Supporters of the Marketplace Fairness Act say it will level the playing field between online retailers and traditional brick-and-mortar stores.
Mike Coppola Getty Images for eBay

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 6:24 pm

Update at 7:00 p.m.:

The Senate has passed the Marketplace Fairness Act by a vote of 69 to 27, The Associated Press reports.

Here's our original post:

The Senate is expected to approve a measure on Monday that would end tax-free shopping for online purchases, a move that concerns many e-retailers but has the support of the states that stand to collect billions in previously lost revenues.

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4:49 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Sales Tax Receipts Way Up in Austin

Growth and economic recovery are factors in the tax numbers.
Todd Wiseman & Mikhail Popov, Texas Tribune

Texas sales tax receipts are up 3.7 percent from a year ago. Here in Austin, sales taxes were up more than 13 percent from February 2012.

Economist Angelos Angelou says that points to the rapid growth of the Austin area, which he says is adding nearly 65,000 people a year.

“The economy is overperforming both the Texas and the national economies, so we’re doing well and we will continue, I think, to prosper,” Angelou said.

6:38 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Sales Tax Receipts Up in Austin

More sales tax means more economic activity.
Tracy Olson/Flickr

A fresh reading of the Austin economy suggests people are spending more money than they were a year ago. 

The state comptroller says sales tax receipts grew by 6.5 percent in January from the same month a year earlier. That was slightly more than the statewide growth of 6.1 percent.

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5:05 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Perry Calls for Tax Cuts as Legislature Opens

The Legislature will decide what to do now that it has more money this cycle.
Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

Texas lawmakers may have $29 billion more to spend on the state budget this session than they did in 2011. Now, Gov. Rick Perry is floating the idea of tax cuts.

Perry says lawmakers will have more than $101 billion in revenue over the next two years because of the economic climate Republicans have created in Texas. Increased revenue, he says is a reason to push for keeping a tight budget and avoiding increases -- and, as he told lawmakers during the Legislature’s opening day Tuesday, to consider tax cuts.

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4:10 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Tax Free Weekend Getting Underway

It's that time of year again: As the summer ends for Texas students, the state's annual sales tax-free weekend gears up again. 

Items receiving tax-free status this weekend include clothes, shoes, backpacks and school supplies.  You can find a complete list of items going untaxed this weekend here.

As KUT News reports, Texas Sen. Rodney Ellis, who sponsored the measure originally in 1999, is cognizant of the impact on the state of foregoing those tax dollars, estimated at $65 million this year. 

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AM Update 7/20/12
7:50 am
Fri July 20, 2012

AM Update: Lackland Air Base Sexual Assault Case, Austin Movie Security, Summer Sales Tax Holiday

The basic training graduation ceremony at Lackland Air Force Base earlier this year.

Lackland Assault Case Nears Conclusion

The case against Staff Sergeant Luis Walker, the trainer accused of sexual assault at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, is wrapping up. Closing arguments got underway this  morning.

Staff Sgt. Walker is accused of 28 counts that include rape and sexual assault.

In three days of testimony, the prosecution presented 14 witnesses, including alleged victims. The defense brought only one witness, a technical sergeant familiar with the video surveillance capabilities throughout the base.

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AM Update
8:21 am
Thu May 10, 2012

AM Update: UT Law School's New Dean, Sales Tax Revenues Rise, Fat Lady Sings for San Antonio Opera?

Former UT Law Dean Larry Sager tendered his resignation last December. He now works as a faculty professor.
Photo courtesy of Marsha Miller for the University of Texas

UT Announces New Dean of Law School

Ward Farnsworth, an associate dean at Boston University’s Law School, will replace Interim Dean Stefanie Lindquist as leader of the law school on June 1.

Before joining Boston University, Farnsworth clerked for Richard Posner on the 7th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals and Anthony Kennedy on the U. S. Supreme Court.

Farnsworth say his first order of business is "learning from the faculty, the alumni and the rest of the community down there about their views and abilities, and how we can use them to advance the mission of the school," reports the Alcade.

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3:54 pm
Wed December 7, 2011

Austin Sales Tax Numbers Indicate Continued Recovery

Photo by Teresa Vieira for KUT News

The monthly sales tax figures are out for November, and they indicate that Austinites spent 6 percent more last month than November 2010. Texas Comptroller Susan Combs’ report says Austin collected $11.2 million in sales tax last month, compared with $10.5 million during the same period last year.

The positive numbers jibe with the improving employment picture in Austin. The latest jobs report showed the local economy added more than 13,000 positions over the last year. But the unemployment rate still rose to 7.1 percent because more people were out looking for work.

Statewide, the sales tax increase was even more dramatic, with revenue climbing by 12 percent last month compared to November 2010. Combs’ office says the state collected $2 billion in sales tax across Texas last month, largely due to growth in the growing oil and natural gas sector.

4:47 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

Austinites and Texans Spending More, Sales Tax Numbers Show

Photo by Teresa Vieira for KUT News

The amount of sales tax collected by the government is often viewed as an indicator of how well the economy is doing. If that’s true, Austin’s economy is doing a lot better this year than it was in 2010.  

Sales tax receipts in the Capitol City were up 4 percent last month, compared to October of last year, according to the latest figures released by the State Comptroller’s office. Austinites paid $13 million in sales tax last month. In October 2010, the number was about $12.5 million.

Statewide, sales tax figures were up 16 percent in October 2011 compared to last year.

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4:15 pm
Wed September 28, 2011

State Considers Taxing Jet Fuel and Bottled Water

Under current Texas law, jet fuel is exempt from the motor fuel tax.
Photo by I-Hwa Cheng for KUT News.

Texas raked in 9.4 percent more in sales tax this year than it did last year, but state officials don't expect that growth to continue in 2012. So they're looking at other ways to find more money.

One way is to tax things that are currently exempt from taxation. At a public hearing at the Capitol today, two items attracted the most attention: bottled water and jet fuel.

Under the current Texas law, bottled water is exempt from sales tax. A bill proposed by the House Committee last May had an amendment to change that, but the legislation was never adopted.

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12:31 pm
Fri June 3, 2011

Online Purchases Might Get Taxed, After All

Photo by alancleaver_2000

Texans may soon have to pay sales tax on many of the products they buy online, despite an attempt by Governor Perry to stop that from happening. Last week, Governor Perry vetoed a bill that would have required internet retailers with a physical presence in Texas to charge sales tax.

But now that same provision has found its way into House Bill 1, a sweeping fiscal matters bill being considered during the special legislative session. Perry would not have line-item veto power on House Bill 1, so he would have to veto the entire spending bill to block the internet tax provision he already vetoed when it was House Bill 2403.

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12:40 pm
Wed May 11, 2011

People In Central Texas Are Spending More Money

People shopping at the Domain in Austin. New state numbers suggest people are spending more money not just in Central Texas, but also across the state.
Photo by Adam Knight

Even though Central Texas avoided the most severe blows of the national recession, we still experienced our own economic downturn. New data from the state shows we are continuing to bounce back.

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4:39 pm
Wed April 6, 2011

Austin Sales Tax Receipts Up 4 Percent Over Last Year

Photo by Callie Hernandez for KUT News

People bought more stuff in Austin this year than they did in the first three months of 2010, according to sales tax figures released today by Texas Comptroller Susan Combs.  The comptroller reports that Austin is receiving 4.35 percent more in sales tax revenue compared to January-March 2010. However, if you compare March 2010 with March 2011, the increase was a nominal 0.05 percent.

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11:39 am
Wed January 12, 2011

Austin Sales Tax Revenue Up

Austin will be getting over $11 million in its January sales tax payment.
Photo by KUT News

The state comptroller's office reports that Austin will see a 13% increase in sales tax revenue for January.

Texas took in over $1.81 billion for December, a 9% jump over December 2009.  In a news release, Comptroller Susan Combs noted that this is the ninth straight month of year-to-year gains.  In her budget estimate released earlier this week, Combs predicted sales tax revenue to continue rising this year and through the next biennium.

5:06 pm
Wed December 8, 2010

People Buying More In Austin Than Last Year But Less Than 2008

Image courtesy peasap

The latest sales tax collection numbers show the state collected $10.56 million in Austin last month. That's an increase of about 0.11 percent from the $10.54 collected in the same month last year. But it's substantially less than the $11.56 million in sales tax collected in Austin in November 2008.

The numbers suggest the Austin economy is more active than it was 12 months ago, but still has yet to recover from the pain inflicted by the national recession.

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