Sales tax revenue growth continues in Oklahoma City
Collections for the city's general fund are up nearly 10 percent for December, marking 15 straight months of sales tax growth. City budget director attributes growth to low unemployment and “macro” level positives in local economy.
The latest monthly sales tax report for Oklahoma City shows a 9.9 percent increase in collections over the same time period last year as job growth continues to boost the local economy.
Sales tax collections for the last two weeks of October through the first two weeks of November totaled $33.1 million, marking the 15th straight month of sales tax growth for the city.
Doug Dowler, budget director, attributed the growth to a positive economy, jobless rate and retail environment in the city.
The sales tax is the largest revenue source for the city, and retail dollars comprise the majority of that tax, he said.
“And really what people have available to spend is driven by two things — how many people are working and how much they're making at those jobs,” Dowler said.
The Oklahoma City metropolitan area had 4.8 percent unemployment this fall, according to a report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics in November.
Statewide, the jobless rate was 5.2 percent, according to the report.
Dowler said sales tax growth was positive in Edmond, Moore, Yukon and most other suburbs of Oklahoma City, as well as in Tulsa.