EDMOND — 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.
Shoppers in Edmond pay an 8.25 percent sales tax on purchases; 4.5 percent goes to the state, and 3.75 percent of the money is returned to the city.
In Oklahoma City, sales tax revenues from mid-May to mid-June were 12.7 percent better than the year before, Oklahoma City Budget Director Doug Dowler said.
“Most municipalities did really well in the month of July on sales tax,” Dowler said. “I don't know that we stood out.”
Oklahoma City showed 4.7 percent sales tax growth from mid-June to mid-July compared to the previous year. That's closer to experts' projections for the city.
Moore saw 7.7 percent growth during the same time period and 10.6 percent the previous month.
“We are very pleased with the growth,” Moore City Manager Stephen Eddy said. “The economy is up, and the retail is good.”
Norman has had a 4.1 percent sales tax revenue increase for the fiscal year.
In Yukon, sales tax revenue growth was 1.67 percent for the most recent period and 13.1 percent for the previous month.
Midwest City had a 2.81 percent sales tax revenue increase in the most recent period.
“We are thankful for our growth,” said Judy Siemens, Midwest City treasurer. “We didn't fall as hard in the last two years. We didn't come back as hard.”
Contributing: Michael Kimball, staff writer