The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

January 3, 2013

Police, fire departments outline expenditures for Enid Special Sales Tax Oversight Committee

ENID, Okla. — Enid police and fire officials outlined their expenditures Thursday for the past six months to members of the Enid Special Sales Tax Oversight Committee.

The committee met in its regular semiannual meeting to review expenditures from the city’s public safety tax.

The quarter-cent public safety sales tax has been collected on all taxable purchases in Enid since May 2001, and the proceeds are evenly split between Enid Fire Department and Enid Police Department.

According to figures provided at Thursday’s meeting, the tax has collected almost $20 million since its inception in 2001, with the proceeds split evenly between EFD and EPD.

Based on the guidelines set forth when the tax was approved by voters, each department must spend at least 30 percent of its share of the public safety tax on capital expenditures, generally considered equipment or facility purchases, or upgrades of $10,000 or more.

The remaining 70 percent of the tax proceeds may be spent on capital expenditures or general operating expenses.

The public safety tax was budgeted to raise a combined $976,940 in the second half of 2012. Thanks to robust sales in Enid last year, the tax outperformed the budget and collected $1.15 million between July and December, with each department receiving $575,322 for the six-month term.

Based on the 30 percent rule, each department was required to spend at least $172,596 from the last six months of tax proceeds on capital expenditures.

EFD Chief Joe Jackson and EPD Capt. Bryan Skaggs presented the Special Sales Tax Oversight Committee with reports Thursday, detailing their capital expenditures from the public safety sales tax.

EFD spent $224,851 in capital expenditures over the last six months, accounting for more than 39 percent of its sales tax revenue for the period.

Jackson said the fire department has utilized more than 60 percent of its sales tax proceeds since 2001 for capital expenses.

EFD capital expenses over the last six months included:

• A 2013 GMC pickup, $24,740.

• Upgrades to firefighters’ self-contained breathing apparatus, $71,856.

• A grass rig fire truck, $77,452.

• Time-keeping equipment, software and support, $11,218.

• Radio-tower equipment, $9,490, in equal share with EPD.

• Matching funds for rescue equipment grants, $13,666.

• Computer software and equipment, $16,429.

EPD spent $293,564 on capital purchases in the past two quarters, accounting for 51 percent of its sales tax revenue for the six-month term.

EPD capital expenses over the last six months included:

• Vehicle purchases of $237,139, including: 12 2010 Ford Crown Victoria patrol vehicles, purchased used; two 2013 F-150 pickups for animal control and maintenance; two 2010 Chevy Tahoes to serve as K9 units.

• $33,540.99 worth of equipment to outfit the vehicles purchased.

• Two heat and air units, $13,394.

• Radio tower equipment, $9,490, shared equally with EFD.

Enid’s quarter cent public safety sales tax does not have a set term and has no set termination date.

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