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December 12, 2013

New law could be boon for municipal sales tax receipts

NORMAN — Norman, Moore and Cleveland County sales tax receipts are on an upward trend, with high hopes for a great holiday shopping season. Year-to-date, Norman sales tax receipts are up 5.32 percent — a full percentage above budget predictions.

Norman Finance Director Anthony Francisco reported that Norman’s sales tax receipts from the Oklahoma Tax Commission deposited Dec. 9 were $5,234,269. Of that amount, $747,752 are Public Safety Sales Tax dollars.

After deducting the PSST fund, the city’s receipts are up 6 percent over the same period last year.

A portion of this month’s increase could be related to a one-time rebate expected from the OTC to reconcile administration costs. The Oklahoma Municipal League has been working with the OTC on accountability for its administration fees.

“It has been determined that OTC’s cost is less than what we’ve been paying them for administration,” Mayor Cindy Rosenthal said.

Norman’s use tax receipts are also up, coming in at $234,139 compared to $214,111 last year. Use tax is primarily associated with construction. Rebuilding after the May tornadoes and the increase in storm shelters are likely contributing to that growth.

In Norman, the number of permits issued weekly for residential storm shelters has continued to be strong. In the city manager’s most recent report to city council members, 60 single-family addition/alteration permits were issued, valued at $273,214 — 40 of them were for storm shelters. It’s a trend the city has seen since the end of May.

Moore’s sales tax receipts for December were $2,709,761, an increase over last year’s collections of $2,131,304. Moore use tax rang in at $72,982, also an increase over last year’s receipts of $62,069.

While some of the Moore sales tax increase is due to the new quarter-penny park tax, the general fund receipts continue to show astounding growth, Moore Finance Director Jim Corbett said.

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