The sales tax projections in the city budget, which seemed wildly optimistic in August, apparently are. The city has collected less in sales tax than it budgeted for three months in a row (and a tip o’ the reporting hat to Dave Levinthal at Dallas’ Only Daily Newspaper). Sales tax receipts account for about 21.5 percent of city spending.

Levinthal notes that September’s collections were off almost 9 percent; the city has projected a 1.75 percent increase for the fiscal year. He doesn’t detail which other months missed projections, and I haven’t been able to locate month-by-month numbers in the city budget. That doesn’t mean they aren’t there, though, and I will keep looking.

However, in trying to find trends, some numbers from the state comptroller’s office could be useful. They show that Dallas got 8.7 percent more in August 2008 than it got in August 2007, before the stock market collapsed. But after the market meltdown, the city took 1 percent less in October 2008 than it received in October 2007.