Is it just me, or is Marble Falls hopping these days? Traffic volumes have increased, sales continue to be strong, and new buildings are popping up everywhere. More than $83.7 million worth of projects have been permitted by the City of Marble Falls in the last four months, and several more developments are currently in the planning stages.
PROJECTS UNDER CONSTRUCTION
|Hurd Regional Medical Center||Highline Retail Center|
|The Outpost Tasting Room & Bistro||Third Street Mixed Use Building|
It should come as no surprise that construction activity creates substantial economic impacts, both directly and indirectly, but I thought it would be interesting to take a closer look at the degree and timing of these construction-related impacts.
From this chart, you can see the correlation between high levels of construction activity and increases in taxable sales and gross sales. When the school district last issued bonds in 2007, there was a direct and positive impact on gross sales and an uptick in taxable sales that soon followed. The construction of Lowe’s, Holiday Inn Express, Motel 6, and other businesses in 2008 and 2009 led to a taxable sales peak in the second quarter of 2009 that wasn’t matched again until late 2012. The only real anomaly on this chart occurs in the third quarter of 2012 when a huge increase of $62 million (+59%) over Q3 2011 in gross retail trade was not matched by a comparable increase in taxable sales. With the construction of the clinic, the 281 bridge over the lake, and the new power plant in Horseshoe Bay occurring simultaneously, the retail trade boom makes sense, but it seems unusual that we didn’t see much of an increase in sales tax during that time. (I have a team of experts working on the answer to this question right now.)
As we attempt to create an economic forecast, it’s difficult not to be optimistic about the future. With the massive construction projects underway and several more on the horizon, we should anticipate unprecedented levels of gross sales and taxable sales in Marble Falls.
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