The Norman Transcript

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March 13, 2014

City’s use tax growth strong this year

NORMAN — Norman’s use tax receipts jumped 24 percent over the same period last year. In March, Norman received $223,663 in use tax and an additional $37,277 in PSST use tax compared to $179,989 sales tax and $29,989 use tax received last year.

Use tax is paid on point-of-delivery sales that come from out of town or out of state. While use tax can come from online sales, it also can be related to drilling or construction. Most often, construction — the tax is paid on building materials such as lumber — is the largest contributor to use tax.

With building permits for storm shelters running high in Norman since the May 20 tornado, that is one possible contributing factor to the increase.

Sales tax receipts are not as promising this month. While year-to-date tax collections are running above budget for Norman, February receipts showed a disappointing dip from last year that likely corresponds with the dip in temperatures last month, Norman Finance Director Anthony Francisco said.

Norman received $4,685,393 from the Oklahoma Tax Commission on March 10. Of that money, $669,341 were diverted to the Public Safety Sales Tax fund.

March receipts were $61,475 less than collections for the same time period last year, a decrease of 1.5 percent. Year-to-date sales tax collections are 4.9 percent above last year’s collections for the same time period, which is slightly above budget projections.

Moore received $2,340,539 in total sales tax, up from $2,099,571, or 4 percent, last year.

“Year-to-date we are up 8.95 percent,” Moore Finance Director Jim Corbett said.

Use tax receipts were $59,900, down from last year’s collections of $83,245.

“I’m guessing it’s weather-related,” Corbett said. “But year-to-date, use tax is above where we were last year. Last year was the highest use tax we’d ever had, and we’re going to be way above that. I would guess we’ll hit upwards of $900,000.”

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