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December 13, 2012

Sales tax up

NORMAN — Norman bounces back; Moore still holding strong

Norman sales tax collections are up this month according to Norman Finance Director Anthony Francisco.

Norman received more than $4.9 million in disbursements from the Oklahoma Tax Commission on Dec. 10. Of that amount, $705,108 is diverted to the Public Safety Sales Tax. The remaining $4.2 million is 6.2 percent above collections for the same time period last year.

“That’s for sales during the month of October,” Francisco said.

The city also received $214,111 in use tax, which is up over last year’s use tax collections of $195,161.

“We had been on a below-budget trend for three or four months previous, so we hope this is a negative trend buster,” Francisco said. “We’re still a bit below budget for the fiscal year-to-date, but we hope to be on a trend to climb back toward the budget.”

Because last year showed strong growth as the city and state recovered from the recession, this year’s fiscal budget growth predictions were more conservative at 4.2 percent.

Moore tax collections continue to trend above the budget with December collections.

“It was up 6.15 percent over last year,” Moore Finance Director Jim Corbett said. “We’re 7.92 percent up for the fiscal year so far this year.”

Moore had budgeted for a 5 percent increase last year. That upward trend likely is to continue as retail, particularly in the area of 19th Street and Interstate 35, continues to develop.

A big-ticket tax generator, Dick’s Sporting Goods, opened the end of October. Those taxes haven’t come into Moore’s city coffers yet.

“We don’t think any of that was in there because they opened the very end of October,” Corbett said. “Next month, we should see some of their sales tax.”

Voters approved a quarter-cent tax increase for park improvements at the Nov. 6 election. The extra quarter-cent starts April 1.

“We should begin seeing it the beginning of May at the earliest,” Corbett said.

Joy Hampton366-3539jhampton@normantranscript.com

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