Sales tax revenue deposited in August rebounded after trending lower for the two previous months in Muskogee.
Data compiled by the Oklahoma Tax Commission show the city’s share of sales tax revenue disbursed in August totaled $2.15 million. That represents a 2.72 percent, or $156,967, increase from the $2.09 million disbursed to the city for the same period in 2018.
August disbursements represent local sales tax collected from June business activity. Totals include taxes collected on actual sales reported by businesses required to file electronically from June 16 to June 30 and estimated sales from July 1 through July 15.
The Oklahoma Tax Commission disbursed $158.95 million in sales tax revenue to municipalities statewide, which was up only 0.01 percent from disbursements reported a year ago. Counties that assess a sales tax shared disbursements totaling nearly $28.43 million and use tax revenue totaling nearly $3.78 million.
Muskogee County's share of sales tax disbursements in August totaled $457,794, up 6.29 percent from the $428,978 it received for the same month in 2018. The August disbursement of use tax to Muskogee County coffers totaled $57,523, up 46.79 percent from the $30,606 deposited a year ago.
City Manager Mike Miller said the recent tick downward appears to have been an anomaly related to near-record flooding along the Arkansas River and little to do with economic conditions. Sales tax disbursed in July, he said, was collected on sales that "coincided with a time when everybody was in crisis mode."
"We had good months right before that anomaly, and we saw another good month right after that, we have a lot of good things happening," Miller said. "If you look at the construction going on at Curt's Mall, all the public works projects that we have happening, and Three Rivers Plaza is back to being almost at full capacity —we are seeing a robust retail economy."
Muskogee officials saw a 45.85 percent increase in its municipal use tax deposits this month when compared with the same period a year ago. The tax commission’s August report shows use tax revenue disbursed to the city totaled $254,140, up $116,524 from the $137,616 deposited in August 2018.
Use tax revenue, which can swing wildly from month to month, is generated primarily by purchases of out-of-state goods for in-state use or consumption. City councilors have earmarked up to $1.2 million of Muskogee’s annual use tax deposits for economic development.
Revenue from the 4 percent municipal sales tax — along with tobacco and franchise taxes — make up just more than half of the city’s general fund.