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Sales tax revenue growth surprises Edmond officials

Robust sales tax revenue growth is good for Edmond. Other Oklahoma City metro-area cities are seeing an increase over last year, but nothing compared to Edmond's collections.
by Diana Baldwin Modified: August 17, 2012 at 10:08 pm •  Published: August 18, 2012

— Sales tax revenue grew so fast over a four-week period this summer in Edmond that city officials asked the Oklahoma Tax Commission if there had been a mistake.

From the middle of June to the middle of July the city collected $5.2 million in sales tax revenue, a 23.2 percent increase compared to a year ago.

City Finance Director Ross VanderHamm said he even went so far as to warn city officials not to spend the money until he could verify the amount was correct. He is now sure there was no mistake.

Sales tax growth was expected in Edmond, but not this much. City officials calculated a 3 percent sales tax growth in this year's budget.

“I am sure we will get back to normal,” VanderHamm said.

He attributes the revenue increase to one-time purchases related to construction, as well as sales of roofing materials after a hailstorm and the sale of products from two new grocery stores.

“The grocery stores have definitely brought people into Edmond,” VanderHamm said.

He said he couldn't be more specific on the one-time purchases.

“We are off to a great start with that 23 percent,” City Manager Larry Stevens said.

“All we want to say is: Don't get used to it.”

For the first two months of this fiscal year, the city collected $10.2 million, nearly $2.9 million more than was collected for the same period a year ago. Most of the revenue goes to the city's general fund.

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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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