MANSFIELD — Drilling activity connected to the Haynesville Shale continues to pump up sales tax revenue into DeSoto Parish, a hotbed of natural gas exploration.
Sales in February, which are reflected in the March tax report, topped $9.1 million — a 43 percent increase over the same time period last year. January sales reported in March reached $8.2 million, a 20 percent increase.
Both months are lower than December’s $12 million — although Christmas retail shopping is figured into those receipts.
Since July 1, more than $86.9 million in sales taxes has been collected parish-wide. That’s quadruple the amount realized in pre-Haynesville Shale days.
Schools and teachers have been among the beneficiaries. At a time when many parishes in the area are tightening their belts, DeSoto teachers have been given pay raises.