By Matt Goodman

Killeen Daily Herald

Both Bell and Coryell counties continued to pull in less revenue from sales tax last month compared to the same point last year, according to a report released by the state comptroller's office.

The slip has been a constant force throughout 2009, but Bell County had less of a drop from September 2009 to September 2008 than it did for the same period in August, in which the county brought in about four percent less.

Coryell County jumped up about two percent higher than its drop in August, receiving 5.68 percent less than it garnered in September 2008. The county dropped almost four percent from this August to last August.

"Weakness is still evident in all major sectors of the state economy, including oil and natural gas, retail trade, and construction," said state comptroller Susan Combs in the release.

Copperas Cove dropped most, receiving about 7 percent less than it did in September 2008; $234,375.06 last month compared to $262,382.42 in September of 2008. Cove could be in for another rocky month in October after it begins to feel the effect of long-time automobile dealership Cove Ford shutting its doors.

Though Harker Heights continued to post an increase in sales tax revenue, that increase has been less and less each month. The city posted a 16 percent increase in August and a 26 percent increase in July. In September, the city only received about seven percent more: $337,843.61 from $314,864.96.

"We expected to hit a sort of plane," said Harker Heights Chamber of Commerce president Bill Kozlik. "Now, I don't know where that plane will be. But I wouldn't say the newness of Market Heights has worn off."

Killeen is beginning to inch closer to evening out its sales tax increase after dropping only 1.38 percent from September 2009 to September 2008; $1.36 million from 1.38 million one year prior. From August 2009 to August 2008, the city fell about five percent.

Salado recovered from a heavy fall in August when it received almost 20 percent less than it did the previous year. It only fell about five percent in September, receiving $24,318 compared to $25,515.90 one year ago.

Belton also slipped close to five percent, receiving $264,154.13 last month and $276,558.36 in September of 2008.

Temple stumbled almost five percent as well, bringing in $1.1 million last month compared to $1.164 million in September of 2008.

The entire state continued with a 12.5 percent drop, collecting $1.47 billion less in sales tax than last September. Combs said this is indicative of a market that is still struggling to regain its footing.

Contact Matt Goodman at or (254) 501-7550.

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