EDMOND — The March sales tax collection check shows an 1.08 percent growth compared to the same month last year, the smallest percentage growth for this fiscal year.
“Our last three checks have been 15.49 percent, 2.97 percent and now, 1.08 percent,” said City Manager Larry Stevens of the growth rate.
City officials questioned that the last two checks were correct because of a new computer system being used by the state Tax Commission.
“The last few months, the system has been having troubles,” said Ross VanderHamm, the city's finance director and city clerk. “I am not making any assessments. I won't be surprised if it is more or less.”
In January, Edmond was shorted $500,000 on its sales tax collection check.
For the fiscal year, Edmond has seen a 15.2 percent growth in sales tax revenues compared to the previous year. The city has collected $45,356,504, which is up by $11,254,653.
City officials attributed four months' worth of the sales tax increase to the purchase of materials for roof repairs from a summer hailstorm.
“We are very fortunate to remain so far above our 3 percent budget projection,” Stevens said. “That is a very, very healthy increase.”
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's portion, 2 percent goes to the general fund and a half-cent goes to the construction of the public safety center. The remaining city sales tax money that does not go into the general fund is divided among firefighters, the police department and capital improvements as designated by voters.
Edmond, in its March check, received $2,456,656 from the 2 percent designated for the general fund. That was $26,182 above the anticipated monthly amount.