Good News In Tulsa's Latest Sales Tax Check

Friday, August 6th 2010, 1:59 pm
By: News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The city of Tulsa says its latest sales tax check is slightly above last year's check and higher than budget prediction.

In a news release from the city, actual sales tax received is $17,116,149 compared to the $16,849,105 collected during the same period last year, which is a 1.58% increase.

The budget estimate for the period was $15,979,000.

"It is always good to be over revenue budget predictions, but we still have an entire fiscal year left," Mayor Dewey Bartlett said. "As we continue to restore certain services to the citizens from past budget reductions, we have to remain cautious on spending. We need to remember that within the next 12-18 months, more than $18 million to $20 million will be needed to cover one-time revenue sources (grants) that will expire in FY12, as well as increased expenses in areas such as pensions and health benefits. We need to remain conservative in our spending in order to have efficient funds to cover the costs of these ongoing expenses once the grants and other one-time allocations expire."

The news release says included in the general fund costs for next year will be police salaries now funded by the JAG Grant, healthcare and pension cost increases and funding for transit programs currently being paid by stimulus grants.

"The City had several painful budget and service level reductions last fiscal year as the result of declining revenue," Mike Kier, Finance Director said. "No similar reductions are likely this year with the budget that is in place. There are still significant issues longer term from the lack of ongoing revenues to offset temporary grants and other one-time revenues as well as currently unaddressed costs."

This check from the Oklahoma Tax Commission is from sales tax collections for mid-July to mid-August.

7/8/2010 Related story: Tulsa's First Sales Tax Check In The New Fiscal Year Down Slightly