Texas sales tax collections up as Harvey recovery continues

Financial experts say Texas sales tax collections for the last few months of 2017 increased by double digits compared to a year earlier partly because of the surge in rebuilding and other recovery from Hurricane Harvey.

Moody's Investor Service issued a report Thursday showing December 2017 sales tax collections increased by 12.3 percent over December 2016. Collections from Aug. 31 through the end of 2017 rose 10.2 percent over collections in 2016.

Sales tax is the largest source of general operating funds for Texas. Gov. Greg Abbott's office had estimated as much as $150 billion in damage from Harvey, which made landfall Aug. 25 in South Texas.

The report says rebounding oil prices that dipped the last two fiscal years also contributed to the tax collections increase.