The Edmond Sun

March 20, 2013

Task force puts forth 5-year budget plan

James Coburn
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — The Capital Projects and Financing Task Force agreed this week to the proposed 2000 Capital Projects Sales Tax five-year budget plan.

City Council members approve a finite budget for each fiscal year beginning July 1, said Ross VanderHamm, city finance director and city clerk.

City sales tax is 3.75 percent. It is added to the 4.50 percent state sales tax. Last year the council budgeted for a 3 percent rise in sales tax revenue and ended up seeing 6.18 percent growth for the fiscal year, VanderHamm said. This was the highest growth rate in the previous five years, he said.

 The council will determine the 2013-14 budget in May and must vote on it by June. So far the council has considered a 6 percent sales tax growth for the FY 2013-14 budget with 5 percent budgets to follow for the next four years.

“The budget we will be talking about shortly is based on an annual growth this year of just under 11 percent,” VanderHamm said.

There will be further opportunities for the council to modify budget projections for the remaining four years, depending on growth or decline of sales tax revenue.

 March receipts are 1.08 percent above the same period for last year, VanderHamm said. January’s report showed a 15.49 percent increase from the previous year that dropped further to 2.49 percent in February. March receipts reflect the last two weeks in January and the first two weeks in February.

“We are after nine months at about a 15 percent growth for the year to date,” VanderHamm said. “It looks like we will probably end up in the 10 to 11 percent growth for the year, which is still very strong,”

The decline in sales tax revenue is consistent with Oklahoma City and other cities in the area, VanderHamm said.

VanderHamm said he remains skeptical of the accuracy of receipts while knowing that the Oklahoma Tax Commission is still working to resolve programs within its computer system.

Task force member David Miller asked if the tax commission is “up-to-speed” in fixing its software.

“The whole team is there. The vendors are there on site,” VanderHamm said. “So as these problems occur, they are at least there to try to fix them. The problem is it’s not just one thing. They’re finding multiple little things. They’re trying to correct all those little things.” | 341-2121, ext. 114