The City of Tulsa's April sales tax check, which covers the period from mid-February to mid-March, as reported by the Oklahoma Tax Commission, totaled $19,851,132 showing an 11.7 percent increase from the same period one year ago. This total is 3.9 percent above budget estimates.
Sales tax collections for the fiscal year have mostly remained flat until this month. The sales tax total since July 2015 is $197.9 million compared with $195.7 million for the same period last year, showing an increase of 1.1 percent.
"Although sales and use tax revenues were positive this month, we are still trying to recover revenue from the repeated decrease in sales and use tax receipts this fiscal year," Mayor Dewey F. Bartlett Jr. said. "Cost savings is of the upmost importance as we continue to close our budget gap for the current year and plan for next fiscal year."
Use taxes for April totaled $1,871,081 which is up 7.2 percent from the same period a year ago, and 2.1 percent below budget estimates.
Use tax collections for the fiscal year are lower than one year ago. The use tax total since July 2015 is $19.6 million compared with $20 million for the same period last year, showing a two percent decrease.
Finance Director Mike Kier said, "The sales tax report for April is welcome news following two months of declines in the sales tax over last year's results. Total collections for the fiscal year remain below the budget and growth rate excluding a decrease in the fee paid to the Oklahoma Tax Commission, which remains in the neighborhood of 0.6 percent."
"We expect to receive and analyze detailed information for the April report over the next 30 days. This information may help us understand the notable change from the previous two months in particular and the other months of the fiscal year in general. Other data on the unemployment rate, employment and job announcements seem to indicate a continued softness in the local economy especially influenced by the state of the oil and gas industry," Kier noted.
Sales tax and use tax collections provide two-thirds of the City of Tulsa's general fund. Vital services such as police and fire protection, 911 emergency dispatch, snow and ice removal from streets, pothole repair and mowing of grass in medians and parks are supported by sales and use taxes.