By David Tuma
Through October of 2015 the City of Belton is slightly down in sales tax revenues by .07 percent. This figure is through May of this year. Slow sales in April and October of last year brought the numbers down. In October the rebates sales tax receipts were down nine percent and in May they were down seven percent. Meaning that retail sales were slow in September of last year and April 2016.
Property tax collections are up almost two percent over last year and indication that business is solid in Belton. Through May collections are at 98.45 percent compared to 96.58 percent at this point in 2015.
Hotel-motel tax receipts are down 3.4 percent this year with $72,987 collected so far. Compared to 2014 the amount collected is down 13 percent. 2014 was a record year with $177,932 collected. Last year those numbers dropped to $157,417.
New home construction is way up in 2016. With 85 homes built or being built this has the makings of a record year for Belton. Home construction is up 102 percent this year over 2015. The best year in recent years was 2012 when 125 new homes were built.
Medium home sales price has increased by 23 percent in 2016. Since 2012 the price has increased from $153,000 on average to $200,932 in 2016. Homes priced above $200,000 has increase to 41 percent of the total homes sold in 2016. That number has increased from 32.8 percent in 2012. Higher end middle class home construction has increased significantly in Belton over the past five years.
Those homes listed in Belton do not stay on the market long. Average month’s inventory in Belton is down 31 percent for the year.
Residential and commercial requests for water taps is up 109 percent for the year. January was the strongest month with an 800 percent increase with 18 request for water service. These numbers include the booming Three Creeks subdivision.
Through May fuel prices continued to drop with a 23 percent drop over 2015 prices. At the end of 2012 the average price of unleaded gasoline was $3.44 a gallon compared to $1.89 in May of this year.
The unemployment rate is down 10 percent this year with 4.1 percent unemployed. The unemployment rate at in the middle of 2012 was 8.5 percent. James Construction-150, HEB added 29 employees with CGI-28, The of Mary Hardin-Baylor-53, Lockridge-Priest-25, Cedar Crest Hospital-23 and The Belton Independent School District-50.