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November 16, 2012

Other revenue sources offsetting Norman’s low sales tax collections

NORMAN — Despite a strong showing in July, Norman’s sales tax growth figures as compared to last year’s collections have run below budget predictions. On a more positive note, statewide sales tax collections for October were up 4 percent over 2011 collections, according to State Treasurer Ken Miller’s press release.

If Norman is lucky, its sales tax collections will echo the state’s numbers when those October collections are dispersed to the city in December.

Meanwhile, City Finance Director Anthony Francisco reported that sales tax received from the Oklahoma Tax Commission on Nov. 8 equaled just more than $4 million, representing less than 1 percent growth over collections for the same time period in 2011. November disbursements from OTC represent primarily September collections.

Public Safety Sales Tax for the same month equaled $680,069, bringing the total received by Norman on Nov. 8 to $4,760,494.

Collections for Norman’s fiscal year, which began July 1, are up 3.2 percent for those five months cumulatively.

That’s uncomfortably below the city’s budget projections for Fiscal Year 2013 of 4.1 percent. If that trend continues, there could be a revenue shortfall.

“The city would have to make some reductions on the expenditure side if the revenue side does not meet budget projections,” Francisco said.

Francisco said other revenue sources are offsetting the downtrend of sales tax collections.

“While sales tax is the largest general revenue source, overall general fund revenues are on budget,” he said.

Use tax collections are running above budget projections. A large portion of use tax comes from construction as well as from catalogue and online sales.

In addition, motor fuel and tobacco tax collections received from the state are running above projections, Francisco said. These other revenue sources are keeping the city on track to meet budget needs.

Moore Finance Director Jim Corbett said Moore received $2,024, 718 on Nov. 8, an increase of 3.66 over last year.

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