Sales tax revenue boost to benefit Groves ahead of budget work – Port Arthur News

GROVES — Sales tax revenue in the city of Groves is growing by leaps and bounds, according to information released by the state.

The city has, to date for 2022, seen an increase of 8.15%. Compared to the same period last year, the report shows an increase of 16.65%.

Groves Town Manager DE Sosa can only speculate, but part of the increase is thought to be from the additions of Starbucks and Chic-fil-A.

Starbucks opened in March on 39th Street in Groves. Chris Moore/The News

Those, he said, are the only two major differences over the past year.

Increase is an important player when approaching the budget.

The majority of the city’s funds come from property taxes – about $6 million, while sales tax generates about $2 million.

“If we didn’t have this sales tax, we would either have to cut services or increase taxes — sales tax is about 20 percent of the overall revenue budget,” Sosa said.

Without good sales tax revenue, the city would have to rely more on property taxes to help stabilize the budget.

Looking to the future, the planned sports complex at Hogaboom Road will also attract more customers to the city, with spectators and participants for soccer and youth football matches, Sosa said.

Work on the football pitches is almost complete and the league hopes to use the pitches this coming season.

There are also new businesses moving into the city, as well as space being developed to accommodate growth.

Mexican restaurant Las Rosa is opening an additional location in town on 39th Street, and Domino’s is building a new location on Main Avenue with room for other businesses.

Elizabeth Cravens with Mid-America Contractors is completing the Strip Center near the site of the former Spear’s Grocery and Pizza Artista, also on Main Avenue.

Ronnie Boneau, executive director of the Groves Chamber of Commerce, said he had not seen the document from the state comptroller’s office showing the increase in sales tax revenue due to work on the next pecan festival and related contest.

But, as the chamber’s longtime manager, he understands the importance of the raise and is happy to hear the news.

The budget

City leaders will begin working sessions to discuss the budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year next week with the intention of drafting the document by August 1.

A key element of the budget – the effective tax rate – will be set by the county and released during the first or second week of August. This means that local entities must use a sample figure to calculate revenue.

Maria D. Ervin