January Sales Tax Collections Up 5.9 Percent in Tulsa

Mayor Dewey Bartlett said today the City of Tulsa’s sales tax revenue for mid-November to mid-December, as reported by the Oklahoma Tax Commission, is 5.9 percent above the same period last year.

“That’s good news,” the mayor said, “and, with the consensus of the City Council, we have implemented several budget amendments to restore employee pay, cut furlough days, add a planning director and more.

“But it is important to note that while our year-to-date tax revenues are slightly above this time last year, when we were in the depths of the recession, we are still down by more than $11.5 million from where we were two years ago,” the mayor said.

Tulsa’s January sales tax disbursement from the Oklahoma Tax Commission is $17,974,061. For the same month last year it was $16,978,329. The conservative budget estimate for the month was $16,165,000.

“So while we are ahead of the budget estimate, we still have not caught up with the income we were getting before the recession,” the mayor said.

For the year-to-date, the City has received $117,035,928 in sales taxes. But that is about nine percent less than the $128,559,662 we had received at this point in fiscal 2009.

City Finance Director Mike Kier noted that use taxes are also slightly above budget projections and last year’s numbers. The City received $1,722,664 in use taxes. That compares to $1,345,904 for the same period last year. The estimated use tax revenue for the period was $1,389,000. Year-to-date, Tulsa’s use tax revenue is $10,173,103, or about 6.5 percent above the same period last year.

“We were forced to curtail spending in many areas in the past two years,” the mayor noted. “And while it is important to remain cautious and to spend our money wisely as the economy slowly recovers, we are happy to be able to restore some employee pay and benefits and to address other vital needs of the city.”

Recent budget amendments include:
> $400,000 to hire new planning director and contractor to update the city’s zoning code.
> $975,000 to roll-back unpaid furlough days for non-sworn employees and restore firefighter pension contribution.

> $450,000 to help fund the transition of management/operations of the Tulsa Zoo
to Tulsa Zoo Management.
> $100,000 to pay increased unemployment insurance premiums.

Updated 01-07-2011

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