By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City is finally receiving some good news on the sales tax front.
For the first time in more than a year, the city reported consecutive months of sales tax growth. The city took in $2,783,615 in sales taxes this month, a 3.41 percent increase from last year. In July, the city received $2,654,271, a nearly 2 percent hike from a year ago.
Use taxes were down 4.32 percent in July and 13 percent in August. Overall, sales and use tax collections are up 2.46 or $66,771 from August 2016.
Christy Barron, city finance director, said while city staff is pleased with the positive signs, she noted that at this time last year, collects were down 2.91 percent from projections.
“So we still didn’t collect what was budgeted for August 2016,” Barron said.
Sales and use tax collections for fiscal year 2016-17 were $872,637 or 2.60 percent below projections. The city took in $32,685,182 in 16-17 compared to $33,555,984 received in 2015-16.
Sales and use tax revenue funds the majority of city services including police, fire and streets. The city currently levies a 3.85 percent sales tax with another 4 percent collected by the state.
Midwest City is seeking to raise the sales and use tax rate by .75 of a percent. The additional revenue would primarily be used by the police and fire departments. The sales tax election is scheduled for Oct. 10.
Other neighboring municipalities have also seen gains in recent months. Del City took in $858,651 in July, an increase of 2.8 percent and $880,190 in August, an increase of 1 percent. Del City officials are also seeking to raise the sales and use tax rate by 1/2 of a penny to provide competitive wages for police and firefighters. The sales tax election will be Nov. 12.
Choctaw received $547,604 in August, an increase of 6.9 percent from last year. The city saw a 4.5 percent increase in sales tax the previous month.
Oklahoma City saw a modest increase of 1.53 percent in July, and a 6.9 percent spike in August with $36,128,628.