Enid businesses enjoyed another double-digit increase in net
taxable sales, based on September sales tax distributions to cities and
towns from Oklahoma Tax Commission.
The current figures represent local tax receipts from spending in late July
and early August. Net taxable sales in Enid during that period were nearly
$12 million higher than the same period in 2011.
According to OTC figures, net taxable sales in Enid during the period were
up 19.3 percent over sales during the same period in 2011. That continues a
trend of double-digit increases every month this year except February.
The city of Enid received $2,562,622 from OTC in September, an increase of
$414,489 over last year. That represents an increase in taxable sales at
Enid cash registers of $11,842,543 more than last year.
Enid Mayor Bill Shewey attributes the sales tax to several areas including
oil and gas, but also the fact Enid is a regional shopping center, medical
and educational center, and the wind energy play ongoing in the area.
“People come to Enid to do their shopping,” Shewey said. “It’s a combination
of all of them with medial and educational facilities all going on in Enid.
It’s all very positive.
“It’s nice that it’s happening; we need to keep our best foot forward.”
Shewey said there is a formula for use of the sales tax, which helps the
city, the police and fire departments and a mix of those who receive it.
Right now, the mix is very positive, he said.
“It will help with everything we’re doing in the city, and it’s very
positive,” Shewey said.
Assistant City Manager Joan Riley said the city receives 3.5 percent of the
sales tax. Of those funds, 1 percent goes to water development debt,
one-quarter percent to public safety and one-quarter percent to public
schools. The remaining 2 percent goes into the general fund.
City Manager Eric Benson said the taxes go to pay for streets, the library,
general government and budgeted items in those areas. Sales tax is not used
Brent Kisling, Enid Regional Development Alliance executive director, said
the sales tax helps attract new retail business to the city and also helps
with industrial contacts.
“It wasn’t two years ago we put together a list of retailers we would like
to have, and spent time sharing the message. Now it’s almost to a point
where they are calling us because they recognize the growth in the area
could last for several years,” Kisling said.
Enid’s story isn’t just for the Enid census tract, but a regional shopping
center of 131,000 people and one of the top 10 sales tax cities in the
Those numbers also help in industrial recruitment. Kisling said no industry
wants to go to a place that is dying and fading away.
“The sales tax shows there are things going on here,” Kisling said.
Enid is not alone in the upward trend. Net taxable sales have been up
throughout northwest Oklahoma all year.
The city of Alva recorded a 113 percent increase — $7,163,529 — in net
taxable sales for the July-August period compared to a year ago. This was
the largest increase by far among county seats in northwest Oklahoma.
Cherokee reported the next-best performance, a 57.7 percent increase —
$1,350,246 — in net taxable sales for the period.
Other net taxable sales increases by percentage and dollar amounts for
county seats in northwest Oklahoma were: Woodward, 25.7 percent, $6,614,400;
Fairview, 32.2 percent, $1,044,575; Medford, 46.4 percent, $662,775; and
Kingfisher, 9.5 percent, $690,833.
Only Watonga recorded a decline in net taxable sales. The Blaine County seat
saw a decline of 17.5 percent, or $581,760 less in sales.
Staff writer Robert Barron contributed to this story.