By Joy Hampton
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — While Norman and Moore sales tax receipts are up again this month, Purcell is lagging, a likely link to the bridge closure.
Fiscal Year 2014 ends June 30; this is the final sales tax receipts for the fiscal year.
With the June 9 deposit from the Oklahoma Tax Commission, cumulative receipts for the soon-to-end fiscal year are tracking above budget in most area municipalities.
“That’s a very positive indication of a healthy economy,” Norman Finance Director Anthony Francisco said. “This is the highest growth rate we’ve had since the recession of 2008.”
Norman’s total deposit for June was $5,330,018. After deducting $761,430 for the Public Safety Sales Tax fund, Norman is up 7.39 percent over receipts from the same time period in 2013.
Unlike its neighbors, Purcell saw a decrease of more than 9 percent from last year’s tax revenue for the same time period. Purcell city leaders had feared the closure of the Lexington-Purcell bridge would have an adverse affect on sales tax. The 2014 June receipts for Purcell were $339,858, compared to $375,024 in 2013.
Year-to-date, Norman is tracking 5.72 percent above FY 2013. Francisco and his staff had budgeted for 4.25 percent growth, so this is good news for Norman.
Use tax, which represents mostly construction, was slightly down for the month. Total use tax receipts for June were $193,851 compared to last year’s $203,156. Year-to-date, use tax is up, with $2,508,472 for FY 2014 versus $2,398,141 last year.
It’s still too early to tell how the city will fare overall for other major general fund revenues.
“For franchise fees, it’s been all over the map,” Francisco said.
A mild summer last year meant franchise fees from utility companies were down, but a cold winter resulted in higher franchise fees from gas companies. Other franchise payments such as telecom companies are not in yet.
Moore also experienced strong growth in sales tax. Moore received $2,598,084 in June compared to $2,314,903 for the same period last year.
“It was a very good month,” Moore Finance Director Jim Corbett said. “For the month, it was an increase of 12.2 percent. And for the year, it was up 8.2 percent.”
Use tax was down slightly this year, with receipts of $64,453 compared to $70,747 last June. That wasn’t enough to dampen the overall general fund revenue.
“We finished very strong for the fiscal year,” Corbett said.
All of Moore’s general fund revenues at this time are tracking well.
“We are right at our budgeted amount,” Corbett said. “We budgeted $32.2 million in general fund revenues. As of today, we have exceeded the budgeted revenues for the year and there are two weeks left in the year.”
Enterprise funds will be more challenging for Moore — the utility fund covering water, sewer and garbage lost hundreds of customers following the May 20, 2013, EF-5 tornado.
Though Moore has several wells it also relies on water from Oklahoma City under contract for a set usage.
“We buy more than half of our water from Oklahoma City,” Corbett said.
Moore lost utility customers, including homes and big water users like the hospital, the 7-Eleven and the bowling alley, as well as the strip mall at 19th Street and Santa Fe Avenue.
“That fund is way behind. At the moment, it is $3.4 million below the budget. There’s been significant loss of revenues there,” Corbett said. “We’ll make up some of those revenues by the end of the year, but there’s a sizable loss.”
Sales tax receipts for Cleveland County for June were $666,809. Use tax receipts of $26,907 had dropped a little from last year. 2013 receipts for Cleveland County were $602,816 and $30,193, respectively.
Other municipalities in the county and surrounding areas also saw an uptick in sales tax, including:
· Noble — $153,985 compared to $113,087 last year
· Lexington — $36,839 compared to $29,980 last year
· Slaughterville — $11,084 compared to $8,221 last year
· Newcastle — $461,567 compared to $424,658 last year
· Blanchard — $180,645 compared to $153,943 last year
· Goldsby — $112,278 compared to $87,170 last year
· Washington — $13,193 compared to $8,355 last year
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