MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

April 27, 2014

Tax proceeds here against trend

Statewide sales tax funds are up while they fall for Muskogee

By D.E. Smoot
Phoenix Staff Writer

— Muskogee’s share of sales tax disbursements fell nearly 4 percent in April despite a significant increase statewide when compared to figures reported for the same period last year.

Data compiled by the Oklahoma Tax Commission show the city received nearly $1.98 million in sales tax revenue for the April reporting period. That is down 3.9 percent, or $80,253, from the nearly $2.06 million generated by retail sales in Muskogee one year ago.

April sales tax disbursements are based upon actual retail sales reported Feb. 16 through 28 and estimated sales from March 1 to March 15. Statewide, the agency disbursed more than $128.93 million to 510 municipalities, up $7.41 million, or 6.1 percent, from the $121.52 million reported last year.

For fiscal year 2014, which began July 1, the city of Muskogee has received nearly $19.34 million in sales tax revenue. That is down about 1.48 percent from the more than $19.63 million collected during the first nine months of fiscal year 2013.

City Manager Howard Brown Jr. tried to remain optimistic despite year-to-year declines have been recorded for eight of the 10 months of this fiscal year. Brown pointed to three cities — Wagoner, Edmond and Enid — where sales tax revenue, respectively, was either flat or 2 percent and 3 percent lower for the month.

“I think the city is on the right course with targeting programs and policies that increase retail sales tax,” Brown said. “This is one of many exciting challenges our great city will undertake this year — I am excited about this upcoming year as the city develops various retail development strategies.”

In addition to declining sales tax revenue during the April reporting period, the city’s use tax collections fell 16.99 percent, or by $21,936, compared to year-ago totals. OTC’s April report shows Muskogee received $107,206 during the reporting period from taxes collected on purchases of out-of-state goods for in-state consumption or use. That is down from the $129,142 disbursed last year.

The lion’s share of the city’s share of use tax collections is dedicated to economic development programs. Beginning this fiscal year, up to $1.2 million of the city’s use tax collections will be deposited into an economic development fund.

Reach D.E. Smoot at (918) 684-2901 or dsmoot@muskogeephoenix.com.