Record-breaking growth in sales tax revenue has the City of Edmond off to a good start for the fiscal year, said Ross VanderHamm, city finance director.
Collections for July show a 17.94 percent boost in the city’s monthly collection above the same period last year, said Larry Stevens, city manager. The increase is well above the city’s 3 percent budget projection, Stevens told the City Council this week.
“That’s the first time we’ve received a check over $5 million,” VanderHamm said. Last July the city collected $3.691 million based on the former 3.25 percent sales tax rate.
VanderHamm said this month’s $5,023,586 collection represents the city’s 3.75 percent sales tax, which includes the half-cent sales tax for building the new Public Safety Center. The city’s sales tax rate of 3.75 percent is added to the 4.5 percent state sales tax.
“If you take that (half-cent) out, you still have the 18 percent increase,” VanderHamm said.
December or January are usually the city’s high revenue months due to Christmas, VanderHamm said. July’s receipts are typically modest, so VanderHamm contacted the Oklahoma Tax Commission to verify the 17.94 increase. OTC did not find an anomaly associated with the revenue increase, he said.
“They are going to be running their detailed analysis next week,” VanderHamm said.
VanderHamm will get to see the Standard Industrial Classifications codes to reveal Edmond’s areas of growth. Edmond’s July collection reflects sales made in the last two weeks of May and the first two weeks of June.
The state of Oklahoma had also experienced revenue increases. State Treasurer Ken Miller pointed out last week that even though natural gas and crude oil prices are lower than expected, Oklahoma’s total revenue collections continue to rise, driven primarily by income and sales. Miller’s report reflects monthly gross receipts for May.
“With incomes climbing and sales tax collections on the rise, Oklahomans continue to show confidence in the economy in spite of renewed global uncertainty and a pullback in U.S. job growth,” Miller said.
May collections are up by 5.8 percent from May of last year, Miller said. That compares to average growth over the past 12 months of 9.2 percent.
“A lot of cities in the metro area had double-digit growth,” VanderHamm said. “I think Oklahoma City had a 12 percent growth as well, so it wasn’t that we were the only ones that were up high.”
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