The City of Edmond has set another record-busting amount of increased sales tax revenue with August’s collections being 23.2 percent more than the same period a year ago, City Manager Larry Stevens reported to the City Council this week.
Edmond’s 23 percent increase in sales tax revenue does not include the half-cent sales tax dedicated to fund the city’s new $25.5 Public Safety Center, said Ross VanderHamm, city finance director.
The city has received $1.365 million in sales tax revenue for the Public Safety Center in July and August, VanderHamm said.
The city’s sales tax revenue is 20.57 percent above the same July and August period a year ago, a figure based on the 3.25 percent base rate.
Edmond’s $5.2 million of August sales tax receipts represent the 3.75 percent sales tax figure for the last two weeks of June and the first two weeks of July. This figure is compared with $3.671 million in revenue received for the same period a year ago that is based on the 3.25 percent rate of sales tax.
“So obviously if I take that $5.2 million and make it an apples-to-apples comparison, we would have really seen about a $4.569 million growth,” VanderHamm said.
The increase is dramatically above the city’s conservative 3 percent budget projection, Stevens said.
July and August’s sales tax receipts show a composite 20.57 increase over the same period a year ago, VanderHamm said. July and August’s combined sales tax receipts for the 3.25 percent rate is $8.877 million, which is more than last year’s $7.363 million for the same period last fiscal year, VanderHamm said.
“To be candid, we had some doubts about the validity of that large of an increase,” Stevens said.
VanderHamm contacted the Oklahoma Tax Commission to verify the 23.2 percent increase. OTC indicated the city’s rise in sales tax revenue is valid, VanderHamm said.
“It does appear that it includes several one-time major adjustments reflecting additional construction activity,” Stevens said. VanderHamm said increased demand for roofing construction and building supply materials had an impact on the community.
Edmond is experiencing positive growth in its overall Standard Industrial Classifications codes, VanderHamm said.
“Uptown and Sunflower have had a positive impact and are bringing in new moneys, not just money our sales are taking from the other stores. Obviously people from outside the community are coming into Edmond,” VanderHamm said.
Christmas sales have typically made December and January the city’s high revenue months. August’s collections follow a trend of unusually high sales tax revenue. Collections for July were 17.94 percent more than the monthly collection from the same period last year, VanderHamm said.
“We are off to a great start for the new fiscal year with that 23 percent. All we want to say is don’t get used to that,” Stevens said.
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