Sales tax rebates Waco and eight neighboring communities got this week were all larger than their rebates for the same month last year, with the communities of Hewitt, West and McGregor seeing the heftiest increases.
Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar sent rebates totaling $695.2 million to cities, counties, transit systems and special-purpose taxing districts,10.8 percent more than his office delivered in December of 2016, according to information released Wednesday.
Allocations in December reflect sales in October reported in November.
The city of Waco got a $2.8 million rebate, which reflects an increase of 1.1 percent over last year and raises the total for the calendar year to $38.2 million, which is 2.1 percent more than the total for 2016.
Meanwhile, Hewitt continues to reap benefits from the opening of a new Walmart Supercenter earlier this year. It received a $185,993 rebate, which stands at 21.4 percent more than its December refund a year ago. Still, the almost $33,000 bump does not keep pace with the $50,000 to $100,000 bump city leaders predicted with the new store.
But the McGregor community enjoyed the biggest percentage hike, receiving a $104,706 rebate that is 37.1 percent more than last year’s, according to a breakdown provided by the Comptroller’s Office.
The community of West, meanwhile, collected a check for $50,754, which reflects an 18.7 percent increase year-over-year.
Bellmead, Beverly Hills, Lacy Lakeview, Lorena and Woodway also saw year-over-year increases.
Prospects for increased sales tax rebates in 2018 include a new Dick’s Sporting Goods store under construction at Richland Mall for a spring opening. Work continues on a retail-and-restaurant center at Central Texas Marketplace to be anchored by a La Madeleine restaurant.
In that same shopping center, crews are transforming the vacant Twin Peaks building into a new location for Indiana-based Scotty’s Brewhouse.
Also, leases have been signed with P.F. Chang’s, a popular Asian chain, and with Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar, which will serve dishes flavored with Cajun spices, for lakefront space at Legends Crossing, at Interstate 35 and West Loop 340.
Hiring has started at Magnolia Table, a breakfast-focused restaurant “Fixer Upper” stars Chip and Joanna Gaines hope to open early next year.
Downtown development continues with the announcement by Brent and Kim Charlet that they will open an upscale women’s clothing store called Adorn at 804 Austin Ave. They operate other locations in Bee Cave and Lakeway, according to a press release issued Wednesday.