San Marcos officials must ensure sales tax revenue numbers continue to increase to better compare with other nearby cities and ultimately provide more profits for the area as a whole.
According to a Dec. 14 city press release, San Marcos sales tax revenues for Oct. 2012 were up 11.56 percent from 2011, the largest sales tax collection for that month in city history. San Marcos is headed in the right direction with economic profits. However, the figures are relatively weak when compared to sales tax revenue numbers recorded by smaller cities in the Central Texas region.
According to statistics in the same press release, some surrounding cities with smaller population sizes had significantly bigger sales tax revenue increases. Six of the seven other cities listed, including Seguin and Kyle, had Oct. 2012 sales tax revenue percentage increases greater than San Marcos, and four of those cities had smaller populations.
Schertz, at 39.82 percent, enjoyed the greatest sales tax revenue increase out of the Central Texas cities highlighted in the press release. According to 2010 U.S. Census data, Schertz has a population of 31,465. U.S. Census 2010 data shows San Marcos has a population of 44,894, which has since been predicted to actually be at least 50,000 in more recent counts. However, Schertz’s sales tax revenue is an astounding 28.26 percent bigger.
A city more comparable to San Marcos is the bordering municipality of New Braunfels with a population of 57,740. New Braunfels reaped a 17.23 percent sales tax revenue increase for Oct. 2012 over 2011’s total, which was 5.67 percent greater than what San Marcos garnered.
The success of New Braunfels’ economy can likely be credited to the city’s long-lasting efforts as a tourist lure in the region. New Braunfels knows how to sell itself as a living vignette of Old Germany in the Texas Hill Country. Although San Marcos has relatively successful events like Riverfest and Sights and Sounds of Christmas, the city should strive to implement efforts on a scale similar to New Braunfels. The extremely profitable nature of events like Wurstfest and the Schlitterbahn amusement park take revenues to a whole new level and attract business owners, who, in turn, can increase sales tax numbers.
The outlet mall and locations along the San Marcos River are profitable tourism aspects for the city. However, officials need to find other ways to help boost the San Marcos economy and sales tax revenues. For instance, if San Marcos continues to invest money into improving the infrastructure and beautification of the city, developers may feel more inclined to bring their companies here. The city needs to provide more incentives overall to encourage new development that could garner big profits, a flurry of jobs for low-income residents and eventually higher sales tax revenues.
Along these lines, there is still much more that can be done to ensure San Marcos’ economy can compete with neighboring cities. The recent sales tax record collection may well be a shining light on the city’s economic horizon, but the city’s economic prospects can be even brighter with greater development.