More Bad News For City Budgets

Wednesday, July 8th 2009, 6:02 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, The News On 6 

The pressure on city budgets keeps getting worse, with more bad news when it comes to last month's sales tax numbers.

Tulsa's numbers are down, but according to the mayor, within what was expected in the new budget.

This city is not alone - almost every suburb is also down.

New businesses are popping up in a Broken Arrow Shopping Center, but even this wasn't enough to counteract a down economy. Broken Arrow - and just about every other town in Oklahoma - saw another drop in sales taxes.

Tulsa's dropped 11% - equaling almost $2 million less for the month compared to June of last year.

No one at City Hall was willing to speculate if the drop would require more immediate cuts.

Almost every suburb was down including Bixby and Jenks, but Owasso was up. Sand Springs was down by $17,000 for the month.

"It's lower than expected, but better than recent months - but one month doesn't make a trend," said Sand Springs City Manager Doug Enevoldsen.

 "We were more in line with the revenue we had last year - a flat budget - and then if the numbers increase, we'll adjust accordingly," said Mike Lester, Broken Arrow Mayor.

In Broken Arrow, the sales tax was down 3% for month compared to last year, equaling a drop of $63,000.

Mayor Mike Lester said the city planned conservatively, so the drop isn't enough yet to require more cuts to the budget. He's optimistic the numbers will turn around.

"We're like anybody else, we're trying to encourage people to come to Broken Arrow, to provide economic opportunity for our citizens, and we continue to do that even in these economic times," Mike Lester said.

The recruitment part of that equation is working - with more business under construction. The question is, when it will turn around the bottom line.           

Tulsa wasn't alone in multi-million dollar drops - Oklahoma City was down by $2 million for the month as well.