Tulsa's city sales tax forecast looking up

Tuesday, June 17th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

There could be a light at the end of the tunnel for sinking city revenue. The News on 6 has the very latest sales tax figures.

News on 6 business reporter Steve Berg explains how the numbers will impact the city of Tulsa.

The sales tax is important because it's the main source of income for the city by far. Last month, it was bad. But it could be and it "has" been, a lot worse. As the city heads into a new fiscal year next month, they're hoping to avoid the mind-boggling budget cuts that had to be made last year.

City of Tulsa budget manager Pat Connelly, "and if the revenues come in, everything will be fine, if they're short again, we'll have to go through another round of reductions, which will be very, very difficult given the current service levels that we've had to go to.”

The city has fallen short of its projected sales tax revenues for the past 11 months in a row, missing the mark by 13% in May. This year, they plan to be much more cautious with their projections. Connelly, “going into '04, we have for the first time projected a decline in sales tax, because we expect the local economy to remain a little weak going into the next fiscal year, and so we've done that."

Sales taxes have bounced back this month, but city officials say they're going to keep a tight grip on the cash just in case.

City councilor David Patrick, "we don't want to jump in right off the bat and take the extra money and spend it right away, because it may take another nosedive, we'll just have to play it by ear month-to-month as it comes up."

After all was said and done this past fiscal year, the city had to cut $20-million dollars out of the budget. They're hoping next month is the start of better things.