The Edmond Sun

October 17, 2013

City receives healthy sales tax check

James Coburn
The Edmond Sun


Edmond’s fourth monthly sales tax check for the current fiscal year is more good news, City Manager Larry Stevens said this week. October’s sales tax receipt is 17.4 percent more than the 2011 numbers it uses for comparison purposes for annual growth.

The Edmond City Council chose not to use the FY 2012-13 figures for a budget projection this year. Both City Finance Director Ross VanderHamm and Stevens describe revenue receipts as an anomaly from the last calendar year. Last year ended up with a 16 percent annual growth, VanderHamm said.

“Even with that decrease, we are still three times above our 6-percent budget projection,” Stevens said. “Sales tax numbers continue to be very, very healthy and we feel very good about that.”

There is a slight cumulative decrease from 19.3-percent growth to 18.6 percent based on the fiscal year 2012-13 that ended July 1. This pattern of being about 1 percent below last year’s receipts as been consistent, VanderHamm said.

October tax receipts represent the last two weeks in August with the first two weeks of September sales. He said the recent opening of Sam’s Club in Edmond will represent two weeks on November’s receipts.

November’s receipts are historically low in sales, VanderHamm said. But he has a bet with Assistant City Manager Steve Commons that the city will surpass last year’s actual sales tax earnings.

“Again, housing has been a very strong part of our retail growth,” VanderHamm said. “We still have a lot of roofs that are being done.”

Edmond Electric continues to grow at a 2-3 percent rate for new accounts, he said.

The city is $997,000 above the projected revenue for the first four months of the calendar year, VanderHamm said, leaving the Capital Improvements and Financing Task Force about $300,000 over budget.

“Those are positive things that are affecting this budget right now,” Commons said.

These figures do not include the half-cent sales tax dedicated to fund the Public Safety Center. The safety center sales tax was not available two years ago. The city’s sales tax is 3.75 percent when including the half-cent dedicated sales tax for the Public Safety Center. It is added to the 4.50 percent state sales tax. | 341-2121