By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Retail sales continued to grow in Enid in May and June, based on July sales tax distributions to cities and towns from Oklahoma Tax Commission.
The current figures represent local tax receipts from spending in late-May and early June. Net taxable sales in Enid during that period were up $3,268,200 compared to the same period in 2012.
According to OTC figures, net taxable sales in Enid during the period were 4.5 percent above sales during the same period in 2012, continuing strong results for the past couple of years.
Enid received $2,629,579 from OTC, an increase of $114,387 from last year’s receipts.
Kelly Goodwin, manager of Oakwood Mall, said the shopping center’s sales are up significantly.
“I would guess 4.5 percent is a pretty accurate increase,” Goodwin said. “Our sales have been very good and attendance at the mall increased, as well.”
Increased attendance is a product of increased activity in Enid, he said. The mall has seen more traffic from area towns than normal, particularly Woodward and Alva, although business from the Hennessey, Marshall and Dover areas also has increased.
City Manager Eric Benson said the 4.5 percent is a sustainable number and he is thrilled to continue the upper trend in sales tax.
“One month doesn’t make a trend, but we’ve been up 28 straight months, and I expect it to continue,” Benson said. “I will be interested to see if it does the same next month and see where we stand.”
Benson is confident Enid sales tax will increase by 4.5 percent or more and said all indicators show that. In addition, there is other retail expansion ongoing, and that places Enid on a very sustainable retail trend, he said.
“I’ve studied the impact of the oil boom very closely and I see a five-year horizon ahead of us. We’re showing a very strong income,” Benson said.
All indicators in every category — new product lines, durable goods, soft goods, consumables and others — show there is massive capital waiting to be invested in a number of ways, he said.
“We won’t have all the problems other places will have. We were not affected during the ‘doom and gloom’ days. I can see a tapering off in about 2018 or 2019, but I think Enid is recession-proof,” Benson said.
Brent Kisling, executive director of Enid Regional Development Alliance, agreed the increase can be sustained.
“I believe 2013 will see consistent growth and 2014 to have another substantial increase because of all the construction projects in town,” Kisling said.
Taxable sales were a mixed bag for county seats across northwest Oklahoma.
Cherokee recorded the largest percentage increase in the area. The Alfalfa County seat recorded an increase of 84.3 percent — $2,412,276 — in net taxable sales for the May-June period compared to a year ago. Medford, the Grant County seat, saw an increase of 35.3 percent — $435,400 — in net taxable sales.
All other northwest Oklahoma county seats saw declines in net taxable sales for the period. Fairview, the Major County seat, saw a decline of 18 percent, or $781,300 less in sales. Other declines were Kingfisher, 13.8 percent less, or $1,395,600 less in sales; Watonga, 8 percent less, or $252,920 less in sales; Alva, 3.1 percent less, or $338,776 less in sales; and Woodward, 1.5 percent less, or $488,400 less in sales.
Statewide, OTC returned $131,512,338 in sales tax collections to 510 cities and towns, reflecting a decrease of $2,297,441 from what was distributed in July last year.