Arlington gets sales tax windfall, a $10.4 million check

Posted Sunday, Mar. 10, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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ARLINGTON -- City officials received quite a surprise when they learned that this month's sales tax check from the state would top $10.4 million.

That's a more than 62 percent increase from last March's sales tax check of $6.4 million. Arlington Budget Manager Mike Finley said he was so shocked by the figure he immediately called the comptroller's office to find out if there had been a mistake.

"It's our biggest sales tax check ever," Finley said. "I asked 'Is this a typo? Is this legit?'"

Luckily for Arlington, the figures were correct. The increase is largely due to a routine state audit that found that two companies failed to pay the city $3.2 million in local sales taxes over several years, said Kevin Lyons, press secretary for the state comptroller. The city also saw a $1 million increase from March 2012 because of increased sales in a variety of sectors, mainly manufacturing and retail, he said.

One company owed Arlington $2.7 million in unpaid sales taxes from January 2004 to December 2007, Lyons said. Another owed the city about $489,000 from December 2002 to July 2006, he said.

The names of the companies are confidential under the state tax code, Lyons said.

Until last week, it looked like Arlington would fall between $1 million and $1.5 million short of its $52.2 million sales tax revenue projection for this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.

"We had three down months, so we were starting to getting concerned," Finley said. "Now with the audit adjustment, we will meet or exceed our budget."

Susan Schrock, 817-709-7578

Twitter: @susanschrock

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