TULSA, OK -- The sales tax collections for mid-April to mid-May, as reported by the Oklahoma Tax Commission Tuesday, are near levels reported for the same period last month and ahead of projections.
Although the sales tax collections reported in May had increased, the City's small decline was anticipated and is in line with projections for the next fiscal year.
"Our budget forecast for Fiscal Year 2011 (beginning July 1) looks reasonable," said Finance Director Mike Kier. "We projected a small decline in general fund sales tax revenues for next year."
The $555 million budget presented to the City Council for approval continues reductions in services and expenses imposed during the current fiscal year when revenue forecasts were adjusted to account for anticipated continuing sales tax declines.
Total sales tax collections for June are $16.02 million, less than a half percent decline (.49) from the previous year. The collections are about 10 percent above the revised budget estimate for the year, Kier said.
Use tax collections were lower, showing a 28 percent decline at $1.22 million from $1.7 million the previous year. Use tax collections were 9.3 percent below the revised budget estimate.
For the year, sales tax collections are 8.8 percent lower than this time last year, and use taxes are 14.3 percent lower than the same time in FY 2009. Use taxes are collected from businesses on purchases of equipment from out-of-state vendors.
Mayor Dewey Bartlett said we were cautiously optimistic when we saw an increase last month, and as we suspected, we continue to be on mark with our projections for the remainder of this year and the next fiscal year. We continue to project a no increase projection in the next fiscal year's budget regarding our revenues. We have to take a hard at our costs of doing business and be aggressive in our pursuit of new revenues in order to restore the basic services impacted by general fund reductions. KPMG will complete its strategic business review of 23 departments by the end of the month, giving this administration will have a blueprint for reducing costs, maximizing resources and generating new revenues."
The City has reduced operating expenses in the general fund by about $25 million this fiscal year, including reductions of $7.5 million since February.