By Brad Kellar

Herald-Banner Staff

March roared in like a lion for Royse City merchants, and apparently kept on roaring through the whole month.

The businesses generated a substantial surge upward in local sales tax rebates for the city, according to the Texas Comptroller’s Office.

The Comptroller’s office reported Royse City would receive a sales tax payment of $121,276.89 this month, a rise of more than $22,500, or 22.85 percent, from the $98,719.31 received in May 2006.

The May sales tax rebate payments represent the city’s portion of sales taxes collected at local merchants in March and reported to the Comptroller’s office in April.

So far this fiscal year, according to the Comptroller’s office, Royse City has received $441,933.41, a decrease of more than $97,500, or 18.07 percent, from the $539,462.07 collected through May of last year.

The city’s year-to-date totals have been the source of a bit of controversy among local officials for the manner in which the comptrollers office represents the statistics.

According to Larry Lott of the Royse City Economic Development Corporation, these figures do not account for an audit adjustment of nearly $149,000 for the month of March 2006. These figures are not notated in the State Comptrollers report. If accurate, this would actually reflect an increase of more than $51,000 over the same period of last year.

Lott pointed out in a letter to the editor in the May 9 edition that the city is actually seeing an increase in sales tax revenues of 17.5 percent over the same period last year.

Sales taxes are one of the two main sources of revenue, along with property taxes, which feed the city’s general fund.

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