The Moore American

September 18, 2013

Moore sales tax is on rise

By Joy Hampton
The Moore American

MOORE — Moore’s sales tax has skyrocketed as the city rebuilds following the May 20 tornado, and Norman’s tax continues to run above budget predictions for the second month in a row.

Moore received $2,683,027 in total sales tax from the Oklahoma Tax Commission in September. That number includes general fund receipts, a half-cent tax for residential streets and public safety, and the new quarter-cent tax for parks. The general fund receipts are an impressive 12.21 percent increase above last year’s.

“It’s absolutely amazing,” said Moore City Manager Stephen Eddy. “I think much of it is attributable to recovery from the tornado.”

The receipts primarily represent collections from mid-July through mid-August.

“My feeling is also that our retail sector and the economy is also stronger,” Eddy said. “Of course, with home-building up, those contractors are paying sales tax on building supplies.”

Norman sales tax also is up, running slightly above budget this month, according to Finance Director Anthony Francisco.

Norman received $5,193,479 in total sales tax from the Oklahoma Tax Commission on Sept. 9. Of that amount, $741,924 are Public Safety Sales tax funds. Apart from the PSST collections, September sales tax receipts are $193,209 or 4.54 percent above last year.

Use tax collections also are up from last year. Norman received $207,985 and PSST received $34,664. Total year-to-date use tax for the combined funds is running about $100,000 above the same time last year.

Moore’s use tax receipts in September were $94,448. Use tax collections for last year were $64,099. Part of that increase is a reflection of the new quarter-penny parks tax, but the numbers are still significant.

Expect Moore’s use tax collections to stay strong for some time. Use tax is usually affected by construction as the taxes are collected on materials such as lumber brought from otherplaces.

In Norman, a boom in storm shelters since the May tornadoes could be contributing to the strong collection of use tax. This month, Norman issued 39 single-family addition or alteration permits. Thirty-two of those 39 permits were storm shelters.