Katrina and Rita shower revenue on two Gulf States.
Although hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated some state and local economies last fall, post-storm revenue collections have been a boon to some Gulf Coast areas.
In Texas, state sales tax collections rose 9.4 percent in October, compared with the same month the previous year. After a storm-related drop in revenue in September, some localities' tax revenues in October were also considerably higher. Beaumont and Orange, two southeast Texas towns hit hard by Hurricane Rita, each saw a sales tax jump of 43 percent over the previous year. Nearby Port Arthur got a 23 percent boost, and Houston's sales tax revenue rose 20 percent.
State revenue increases reflect the influx of evacuees from the hurricanes. "The numbers also show," says Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, "that after Hurricane Rita, Southeast Texans immediately bounced back and began to repair, replace and rebuild what they lost."
The story was similar in parts of Mississippi hit hard by Katrina. State officials there were initially concerned about slow revenue growth, but the rebuilding effort led to an October tax take that was $23 million higher than budget estimates.
Some small towns, their population swelled by coastal residents forced inland by the storm, saw their October tax intake rise as much as 130 percent, compared with the same month the previous year. Sales tax revenues in Hattiesburg, the state's fourth-largest city, surged to record levels.
We invite you to discuss and comment on this article using social media.
LATEST FINANCE HEADLINES
The Week in Public Finance: Bleak Pension Forecasts, Down on Stadium Debt and More1 day ago
Disappointed and Defeated, West Virginia Governor Lets Budget Become Law Without His Signature2 days ago
Uncertain of the Future, States Save and Save Some More3 days ago
Illinois Has 10 Days to Do What It Hasn't in 3 Years: Pass a Full, Balanced Budget5 days ago
Should Millionaires Pay More in Taxes? Massachusetts Voters Will Decide.1 week ago
Got Gold? You Can Soon Store It in the Nation's First State-Run Gold Depository1 week ago
The Week in Public Finance: A Rate Hike, Unpredictable Taxpayers and Stress-Testing Budgets1 week ago
Budget Standoff Drives Minnesota Legislature to Sue Governor1 week ago