The Norman Transcript

Breaking News

Government

June 12, 2013

Norman sales tax running below projections

NORMAN — Norman sales tax collections continue to fall below budget predictions, with the last receipt of the fiscal year rolling in well under budget predictions this month.

Studies indicating that online shopping is growing in the college population could provide a reason for Norman’s flagging tax receipts, and legislation under consideration might provide the solution. But e-fairness legislation is seemingly lost in a U.S. House subcommittee, and Norman must make do while hoping other revenue makes up the difference. This month’s disappointing sales tax numbers are no surprise, Norman Finance Director Anthony Francisco said.

“That’s the trend that we’ve been on,” Francisco said. “We do expect to grow some from here, but this was not a surprise.”

Norman received its last disbursement, $4,963,078, from the Oklahoma Tax Commission for the fiscal year on June 10. Of that total, $709,010 will be diverted to the Public Safety Sales Tax fund as is required by ballot mandate. June tax receipts for Norman are up $68,247, or 1.63 percent more than collections for the same time period last year — well below the 4.2 percent increase the city budgeted.

Midway through the fiscal year, other revenues were above budget predictions enough to make up the difference. At that time, general revenue funds as a whole had remained on target. However, that has been slipping in recent months.

“We were about 0.3 percent below, which is really pretty much on budget,” Francisco said.

This month’s total general fund revenue isn’t known at this time.

The fiscal year ends June 30. Francisco is budgeting a 4.2 percent increase for next year, FY 2014, with the belief the city can hit that growth target because of this year’s low collections.

There is no easy answer as to why sales tax collections were disappointing this year, Francisco said.

“It’s complex, with a lot of moving parts, but it’s related to the economy and the psychological impacts,” Francisco said. “I think people are just cautious, particularly as it relates to discretionary spending.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Government
  • Congressman Cole reflects on recovery

    Congressman Tom Cole’s home in Moore was not hit by the May 20 tornado but it came pretty close. His wife has made it clear she wants a saferoom, he said. In a visit to the Transcript on Friday afternoon, Cole talked about tornado ...

    April 19, 2014

  • Oklahoma Water Resources Board grants Norman low-interest loan for facility upgrade

    Norman has been authorized for a $50.3 million loan from the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to fund Phase 2 of the Norman Water Reclamation Facility upgrade. “It’s the single largest loan OWRB has made,” Norman Mayor Cindy Rosenthal said. ...

    April 17, 2014

  • General fund continues to decline as expenses exceed anticipated revenues

    Norman’s expenses will again outstrip projected revenue in the current budget before the city council. The budget for the fiscal year that starts in July and ends June 30, 2015, projects $210,982,020 in total revenues and $213,436,778 in ...

    April 16, 2014

  • County hears presentation on employment opportunities

    The Cleveland County Board of Commissioners listened to a presentation Monday to consider partnering with a nonprofit that provides employment opportunities for prison inmates re-entering the community. Patrick Viklund, Center for ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Drilling operation shows policy gap

    While Norman residents are being encouraged to use rain barrels, a Texas oil and gas company is pumping thousands of gallons of treated drinking water into the ground. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission controls permits for drilling, ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Filings finished

    In addition to Ward 2 Norman City Council candidates Clint Williams and Aliesha Karjala several federal, state and county officials will be on the June 24 ballots. Filing for offices that serve Cleveland County residents are: · ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Fracking review online

    The Oklahoma Hydraulic Fracturing State Review is available on the Corporation Commission’s website, occeweb.com. Completed in 2011 by a non-profit, multi-stakeholder organization, State Review of Oil and Natural Gas Environmental ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Candidates file for state and federal positions Thursday

    New filings on Thursday include: ; ...

    April 11, 2014

  • City briefs

    Egg hunt today  Norman’s Easter Egg Hunt will be today at Andrews Park. Activities — including moon bounces, games, giveaways and Easter Bunny photos (bring your own camera) — will start at 5:30 p.m....

    April 11, 2014

  • Norman residents among those seeking to run for county, state offices in first day of filing

    Filing for county and state offices started Wednesday and continues from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Friday. A handful of Democrats and a trickle of Independents vye with a field heavy-laden with Republican candidates. There are few ...

    April 10, 2014