The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

May 11, 2014

Sales tax distributions decline 3rd-straight month

Staff reports
Enid News & Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Enid recorded a third-straight decline in sales tax distributions in April compared with figures from a year ago.

That also translates into a third-straight decline in net taxable sales in the city compared to the same period one year ago. These figures are for late-February and early March, according to Oklahoma Tax Commission.

Net taxable sales also were down in Enid during the late-December and early-January time period, and the late-January and early-February period.

Net taxable sales in Enid during the period of late-February and early-March were down $2,136,400, compared with the same period in 2013. According to OTC figures, net taxable sales in Enid during the period were 3 percent below sales during the same period in 2013.

Enid received $2,399,279 from OTC in April, a decrease of $74,774 from last year’s receipts.

“I think the economy’s leveling off, but I still think it’s very strong,” City Manager Eric Benson said.

Across northwest Oklahoma, the news was mixed. Sales and tax receipts were up in four of the eight northwest Oklahoma county seats and down in the other four.

Fairview, the Major County seat,  recorded the biggest increase of 37.4 percent — $1,214,925 — in net taxable sales for the February-March period compared with a year ago. Watonga, in Blaine County, recorded a 17.6 percent increase, or $426,520 more in net taxable sales. Alva, the Woods County seat, recorded an increase of 13.5 percent, or $1,146,941 more in net taxable sales.

Woodward, the Woodward County seat, received more sales tax money from OTC — $162,256 more than last year — but also saw its sales tax increase from .035 to .04.

Cherokee saw a decrease of 43.8 percent, or $1,802,738 less in net taxable sales; Medford recorded a decrease of 8.6 percent, or $132,525 less in net taxable sales; and Kingfisher, 5.6 percent less, or $430,000 less in net taxable sales.

Statewide, OTC returned $128,930,420 in sales tax collections to 510 cities and towns, reflecting an increase of $7,410,035 from what was distributed in April last year.