County Commissioners Join City’s Effort to Collect Sales Taxes Locally

TULSA, Okla. (June 7, 2010) – Tulsa County Commissioners agree that local governments should be able to collect their own sales taxes rather than contracting with the Oklahoma Tax Commission for collection services. Last week House Bill 2359 emerged with language that prevents cities from collecting sales and use taxes.

For several months, the City of Tulsa has explored the notion of collecting sales and use taxes through a private contractor, citing deficiencies in the collections by the Oklahoma Tax Commission.

“I feel strongly that this is a matter of local choice,” said Commissioner John Smaligo. “The city should not be forced to use a service that is sub-par, and the reality is that the Oklahoma Tax Commission is inefficient in its audit and enforcement areas.”

“This is another area where we can work in concert with the city,” said Commissioner Karen Keith. “While the county collects ad valorem revenue through the County Treasurer’s office, we do not collect our portion of the sales tax. If we could work with the city or some other entity to collect sales taxes more efficiently, we should do it.”

“I understand that the tax commission has challenges, but local revenue impacts all the communities in Tulsa County. If this gives the City of Tulsa a chance to improve revenue collections, it may give other municipalities the same option,” said Commissioner Fred Perry.

The Tulsa County Commissioners have offered to help the City of Tulsa, and will meet with the city’s administration soon to determine how best to support their efforts.

“We offer our full support to the city. We look forward to meeting with city officials to determine how we can best be of assistance,” Smaligo said.

Updated 06-07-2010

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