City Of Tulsa May Fire State Tax Commission Over Tax Collections
By Emory Bryan, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- The City of Tulsa is considering a plan to collect local sales taxes, rather than contract through the Oklahoma Tax Commission.
"We don't believe they're doing a very good job" said Terry Simonson, the Chief of Staff for Mayor Dewey Bartlett. Simonson briefed the Tulsa City Council on the plan Tuesday morning.
Simonson said the Tax Commission has only seven inspector auditors to ensure taxes are properly collected statewide.
The Oklahoma Tax Commission collects taxes for every county and city in the state.
For the month between December 15th and January 15th, Oklahoma Tax Commission collected $17,951,146 in sales tax for the City, and charged a collection fee that totaled $179,511.
"We're just not satisfied that they're collecting all of our money and we need to go collect some of it ourselves," said Roscoe Turner, Tulsa City Councilor.
Councilor GT Bynum says he has heard similar complaints from other smaller cities.
"They have the same concerns that we do that the Oklahoma Tax Commission isn't as aggressive in collecting sales tax as those local communities might be if they were doing it themselves," said Bynum.
Simonson said the administration is exploring the idea of hiring a private company to handle sales tax collections. He said the company has clients in five other states.
Simonson said he believed millions of dollars in sales tax is not collected each year because of lax oversight by the state.
"The state can't do it. We've got to look out for ourselves." said Simonson.