Oklahoma City sets sales tax record amid economic upswing


August 15, 2018

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma City received a record $40.2 million in sales tax revenue this month, benefiting from the upswing in the local economy.

The August revenue distances the city further from recent budgets that led to staff cuts and reduced spending, the Oklahoman reported .

August is the 16th straight month of positive sales tax growth, said city budget director Doug Dowler. He said the trend shows the city's recovery "from the regional recession that occurred from mid-2015 through early 2017 is continuing."

Sales tax is the city's largest revenue source and the primary way the city funds services like police and fire protection. The sales tax revenue received this month is for the second half of June and first half July, reflecting the strength of consumers' confidence this summer.

"Strength in the oil-and-gas sector has been a strong boost to the local economy," Dowler said. "But the Oklahoma City economy continues to diversify and strengthen."

The results showed underlying growth in economic activity was 4.5 percent, Dowler said. Budget officials projected growth of 4 percent for the first quarter of the fiscal year that began July 1.

Growth was 17.5 percent in the city's general fund, the main account for day-to-day expenses. Dowler said that was due to added revenue from the quarter-cent sales tax increase voters approved last September. The proceeds are expected to help hire additional police officers and firefighters.


Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com


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