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October 14, 2012

Despite positive growth, sales tax collections trail hoped-for projections

NORMAN — Despite that sales tax collections for FY 2013 are up from last year, those collections are lagging behind budget predictions. Norman received $5.3 million on Oct. 9. Of that amount, $756,668 were directed to the Public Safety Sales Tax fund.

The fiscal year began July 1, 2012 and will end June 30, 2013. Finance Director Anthony Francisco had made a more conservative budget prediction for FY 2013 because FY 2012 had anticipated a significant gain resulting from the recession rebound. In FY 2012 the city budgeted and achieved a 4.6 percent increase. This year, Francisco and his team budgeted for a 4.2 percent increase.

“We had returned to historical levels in 2012. Growing from that will be more difficult,” Francisco said.

Despite Francisco’s caution, tax collections have run below budget for the third month in a row. This year’s receipts were $31,683 or 3.17 percent above last years receipts.

Moore sales tax for October was $1.8 million, up 5.06 percent over October receipts last year. Moore is ahead 7.23 percent for the fiscal year.

Growth over the course of last year has propelled Moore forward.

“We had 5.5 percent growth over the prior year,” Moore Finance Director Jim Corbett said. Moore predicted 5 percent growth for last year and another 5 percent this year. Dick’s Sporting Goods is under construction, expected to open soon. Other money makers for Moore have been the IMAX Theater and Target, but Corbett said several smaller business also contributed to the expanding tax base.

In addition, Corbett said several smaller businesses that recently opened will be contributing a full year of sales tax in FY2013.

Norman collected $50 million in sales tax during FY 2012. Moore collected $21 million in FY 2012.

Joy Hampton366-3539jhampton@normantranscript.com

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