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July statewide tax revenue totaled $3.9 billion

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080422 july statewide tax increase

AUSTIN — Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar on Monday said state sales tax revenue totaled $3.88 billion in July, 14.7 percent more than in July 2021, and the highest monthly collections on record.

The majority of July sales tax revenue is based on sales made in June and remitted to the agency in July.

“July state sales tax collections showed continued vigorous growth from non-retail sectors,” Hegar said. “The sharpest increase from a year ago was once again in receipts from oil and gas mining, but receipts from the construction, manufacturing and wholesale trade sectors were also up by double digits for the eighth consecutive month.

“Receipts from retail trade and restaurants increased at a moderate pace, with some retail segments showing no growth or declining from a year ago as pent-up demand from the pandemic wanes and consumer spending priorities shift in response to inflation.

“Receipts from auto dealers and parts stores and home improvement stores exhibited double-digit growth, while receipts from general merchandise and online vendors grew more modestly. Receipts from clothing and apparel stores, home furnishings stores, and sporting goods and hobby stores were flat compared with a year ago, while receipts from electronics and appliance stores declined.”

Total sales tax revenue for the three months ending in July 2022 was up 13.1 percent compared with the same period a year ago. Sales tax is the largest source of state funding for the state budget, accounting for 59 percent of all tax collections.

Texas collected the following revenue from other major taxes:

• motor vehicle sales and rental taxes — $605 million, up 5 percent from July 2021;

• motor fuel taxes — $324 million, up 3 percent from July 2021;

• oil production tax — $694 million, the highest monthly collections on record, up 84 percent from July 2021;

• natural gas production tax — $532 million, the highest monthly collections on record, up 185 percent from July 2021;

• hotel occupancy tax — $73 million, up 22 percent from July 2021; and

• alcoholic beverage taxes — $149 million, up 13 percent from July 2021.

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Lovell elected to statewide position

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080422 Lovell GroupThe 2022-23 CJCAT officers include, from left: Secretary/Treasurer Jim Lovell, Houston County Judge; First Vice President Wade McKinney, Henderson County Judge; President Kelly Traylor, Cherokee County Commissioner; Second Vice President Larry Woolley, Johnson County Commissioner; and Immediate Past President Byron Ryder, Leon County Judge.

By Julie Anderson
Special to the Courier

CROCKETT – Houston County Judge Jim Lovell has been elected secretary/treasurer of the North & East Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association, a 74-county subregion of the County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas (CJCAT).

County officials applauded Lovell as he took his oath of office during the North & East Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association Annual Conference conducted July 11-14 in Denton at the Embassy Suites hotel and convention center.

The CJCAT is a statewide organization comprised of County Judges and County Commissioners with more than 1,200 active members. Both the CJCAT and its regional associations promote the interests of county government through continuing education and active participation in governmental affairs, particularly the Texas Legislature.

“The people of Texas and the members of the North & East Association will be well served by the leadership provided by Judge Lovell and the other officers,” said Jim Allison, general counsel to the CJCAT.

“We look forward to a successful year for the organization,” he added.

According to the CJCAT website, the annual conference focused this year on “providing valuable information to support county government and aid commissioners courts in all they do in Texas for Texans.”

Topics, such as public information requests, road maintenace and emergency management were spotlighted during the four-day event.

Attendees also got the opportunity to enjoy a golf tournament and plenty of netowkring opportunities.

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Former Little River Healthcare CEO charged with fraud

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072822 little river fraud

By Jan White
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TYLER – Jeffrey Paul Madison, former CEO of Little River Healthcare, was among 21 people recently charged in connection to alleged medical fraud schemes worth $1.2 billion.

Thirty-six defendants are facing criminal charges in 13 federal districts in the United States for alleged fraudulent telemedicine, cardiovascular and cancer genetic testing, and durable medical equipment schemes, according to prosecutors for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas.

As part of this case, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas has charged 21 people with healthcare kickback, and they are accused of money laundering crimes. Those charged include doctors, hospital executives, laboratory executives and marketers.

Former True Health Diagnostics LLC CEO Christopher Grottenthaler, Susan L. Hertzberg who was formerly with Boston Heart Diagnostics Corporation, former Rockdale Hospital d/b/a Little River Healthcare CEO Jeffrey Paul Madison, and others are defendants in a False Claims Act civil lawsuit titled United States ex rel.

STF, LLC v. True Health Diagnostics, LLC, et al., No. 4:16-cv-547 (E.D. Tex.).

According to the criminal and civil cases, the defendants are accused of breaking the law and making money by paying and receiving illegal kickbacks for referring people to laboratories. The United States filed an amended complaint in May 2022.

The Anti-Kickback Statute does not allow offering, paying, soliciting, or receiving remuneration for referrals of items or services covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal health care programs.

Prosecutors said that “The defendants were charged for their roles in a conspiracy through which physicians were incentivized to make referrals to critical access hospitals and an affiliated lab in exchange for kickbacks which were disguised as investment returns; and in which marketers were incentivized to order, arrange for, or recommend the ordering of services from critical access hospitals and an affiliated lab in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute.

Two Texas critical access hospitals, Little River Healthcare (LRH) in Rockdale and Stamford Memorial Hospital based in Stamford, worked with Boston Heart Diagnostics (BHD), a clinical laboratory based in Framingham, Massachusetts, that focused on blood testing.

BHD allegedly helped the hospitals bill their blood tests to insurers to appear as hospital outpatient services. Officials said the hospitals charged insurers more money than BHD could obtain as a laboratory.

“Pursuant to the alleged kickback scheme, the hospitals paid a portion of their laboratory revenues to marketers, who in turn kicked back a portion of those funds to the referring physicians who ordered BHD tests from the hospitals or from BHD directly. BHD executives and sales force personnel leveraged the MSO kickbacks to gain and increase referrals and, in turn, to increase their revenues, bonuses, and commissions,” said prosecutors.

From July 1, 2015, to January 9, 2018, at least $11,256,241.68 in illegal kickback payments were exchanged by the defendants during the alleged scheme.

Crockett residents will recall that the Houston County Hospital District’s brief association with Little River Healthcare resulted in the hospital’s closure and the loss of over two hundred jobs and millions of dollars, greatly impacting the local economy. Employees of the hospital during that time were quick to defend the Crockett hospital, stating that the failure was due to incompetence at the management level.

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Ashby accepting applications for armed services scholarship

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072822 ashby armed service scholarships

AUSTIN – State Representative Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin) announced last week that his office will begin accepting applications for the Texas Armed Services Scholarship Program (TASSP) from qualifying students living in House District 57.

The Texas Armed Services Scholarship Program was created by the Texas Legislature to encourage students to become members of the Texas Army National Guard, the Texas Air National Guard, the Texas State Guard, the United States Coast Guard, the United States Merchant Marine, or to become commissioned officers in any branch of the armed services of the United States. Every year, each State Representative may appoint one student to receive a scholarship award.

“It’s always an honor to nominate a student from the district who plans to dedicate their career to the United States armed services,” said Ashby. “This scholarship helps the next generation of brave men and women as they begin the next chapter of their career and represents a small token of our appreciation for their commitment to service.”

Interested applicants can visit http://www.hhloans.com/ for more information on the program and application process. Students who wish to apply, please send your application form, resume, and a brief cover letter explaining your interest to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please feel free to contact my office at (512) 463-0508 should you have any questions or need additional information.

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Volunteers build frame for new grass hut

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072122 Volunteers building frameAfter a devastating tornado in 2019 that virtually destroyed the Caddo Mounds State Historic Site, volunteers gathered last week to help build the framework for the new grass hut. Collection of the natural materials used to remake the structure has taken months of hard work, but that dedication is finally paying off. Courtesy photo by Jeffery Williams

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