EDMOND — City officials said they were surprised to find in the mail a $87,799 sales tax check for Edmond's refund from the three-day, tax-free shopping event.
That sales tax refund is historically included in the October sales tax collection check. City Finance Director Ross VanderHamm said an apparent computer system glitch resulted in two checks for the last two weeks of August and first half of September.
“None of the cities knew it wasn't included until we received a separate check,” VanderHamm said.
Although consumers are not charged sales tax during the tax-free promotion days, cities are reimbursed sales tax money from the state.
This year's check was an increase over last year, when Edmond received $82,140.
In 2010-2011, the check totaled $85,900. Over the past five years, the largest check was in 2009-2010 when the city received $89,058.
For the first four months this fiscal year, Edmond has had good sales tax collections.
With the addition of the tax-free refund, Edmond has had a 19.3 percent increase, or $2.9 million, from the same period a year ago for the 3.25 percent sales tax rate.
Edmond's tax rate increased in April to 3.75 percent after voters approved a half cent increase to build a new public safety center.
This year, $2.7 million has been collected for the $25.5 million public safety center.
City officials calculated a 3 percent growth for the fiscal year that started in July.
Shoppers in Edmond pay an 8.25 percent sales tax on purchases; 4.5 percent goes to the state and 3.75 percent is returned to the city. Of the city portion, 2 percent goes to the general fund for operations.
For the month of October, $2.8 million goes to the general fund to be used to operate the city. That is 17.31 percent more than collected a year ago.
The remaining sales tax is divided among firefighters, the police department, parks and capital improvements, as designated by Edmond voters.
None of the cities knew it wasn't included until we received a separate check.
Ross VanderHamm Edmond City Finance Director