August Sales Taxes Down

The City of Tulsa’s sales tax collections for mid July to mid August, as reported by the Oklahoma Tax Commission, are below last year’s totals, but higher than the budget estimate for the month.

Actual tax received is $16,252,172, or 2.3 percent below the $16,641,187 collected during the same period last year. That amount, however, was 2.9 percent above the budget estimate for the period – $15,793,000.

Use taxes collected for the mid-July to mid-August period totaled $1,382,246. That was down 9.2 percent from the $1,522,836 collected for the same period last year and is 2.5 percent below the projected amount of $1,417,000.

“This month’s report clearly shows two indicators,” Mayor Dewey Bartlett said. “One is that the city has become much better at developing a budget on very conservative revenue estimates. We received $459,000 more than budgeted. The other factor is that the economy does not appear to be improving significantly based upon what was received this month last year and what we received today – $389,000 below 2009 levels.”

Mayor Bartlett continued, “So we have developed a fiscal plan and budget that accurately predicted a very slow recovery of the local economy, and that will allow us to continue at the same service level for the time being. Of course this will be monitored very closely each and every month. Sixteen of the last 18 months have shown sales tax declines.”

A $560 million budget was approved for the fiscal year that began July 1. Last year a $578 million budget was first proposed, but declining sales tax revenues led then-Mayor Kathy Taylor to reduce the budget to the $567 amount approved by the council. Then, in October, an additional $6 million was cut.

After the current administration took over in December, additional budget cuts had to be made to maintain a balanced budget.