The Norman Transcript

Government

July 10, 2013

Norman sales tax revenue continues to be below expectations

NORMAN — Norman sales tax revenue is already running behind budget projections for the new fiscal year. Moore tax collections also were down as a result of the tornado.

Sales tax remittance to Norman from the Oklahoma Tax Commission for July was $5,240,851 — 3.27 percent growth over last year. Of that, $748,692 will be diverted to the Public Safety Sales Tax fund. Use tax collections brought in an additional $178,856.

Norman Finance Director Anthony Francisco had predicted a 4 percent growth for Fiscal Year 2014, which started July 1.

Francisco said it’s too early to jump to conclusions about what the coming year will bring.

“We had an above-average July last year — we grew 5.4 percent,” Francisco said. “We’re entering a new fiscal year, and we never try to draw a trend from one month of collection.”

Sales tax is an important portion of the city’s revenue, but it isn’t the only revenue. Last year’s full revenue stream has not been computed, Francisco said. For much of the year, other revenues made up the difference for lagging sales tax income.

Some city leaders believe construction at the Interstate 35 and Main Street interchange has put a damper on sales tax at Sooner Mall and major retailers in the area, but the numbers don’t support that conclusion.

“The analysis of their sales tax collections has been in line with the rest of the city,” Francisco said. “Their sales tax hasn’t changed that much since the construction.”

The July deposit represents primarily May collections. The tornadoes May 19 and 20, may boost sales tax next month in Norman when people get their insurance money for repairs, Francisco said.

“There is certainly reason to believe there will be an increase in room tax, and we’ve already experienced that,” Francisco said. “We probably won’t see an increase in sales tax until next month’s collection.”

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