Edmond gets $500,000 more sales tax money

Officials said correction of a mistake at the state Tax Commission turned up $500,000 more in sales tax revenue. Construction permits for single-family homes were up 55 percent for 2012 compared to the previous year.
by Diana Baldwin Published: January 17, 2013
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— Edmond was shorted $500,000 on its January sales tax collection check, said Ross VanderHamm, finance director and city clerk.

City officials were alerted to a possible problem when January's check was up only 4.4 percent over the previous year, compared with 31 percent growth in December.

“I was shocked,” VanderHamm said. “We found out that several cities' (reimbursement) had decreased and the state's had increased.”

Turns out it was a glitch with the Oklahoma Tax Commission's new computer system that was installed in mid-November, VanderHamm said. Apparently there was a problem with several of the large vendors who report electronically, he said.

The extra money increases the city's growth to 15.49 percent for January's reimbursement, which was from sales tax collections during the last half of the month of November and the first half of December.

For the first seven months of the fiscal year, Edmond has had a 19.31 percent growth when comparing this year to the previous one. Edmond has received $35,921,986 in sales tax revenue, which is $9,827,722 more than was collected a year ago.

Edmond officials had calculated a 3 percent growth in this year's budget.

Part of the increase in the sales tax money is because of the half-cent sales tax that was approved by voters to build a new public safety center.

For December, the new calculation after the mistake was caught increased the revenue for the public safety center from $621,213 to $687,176.

Edmond voters approved the half-cent sales tax to pay for a home for police headquarters, the 911 communication center and emergency management operations. So far, the city has collected $5,618,087.

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by Diana Baldwin
Sr. Reporter
Diana Baldwin has been an Oklahoma journalist since 1976 and came to The Oklahoman in 1991. She covered the Oklahoma City bombing and covered the downfall of Oklahoma City police forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist misidentifying evidence. She wrote...
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