McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

May 19, 2013

City budget workshop Tuesday; sales tax revenue down again

By James Beaty
Senior Editor

McALESTER — A special budget workshop is planned for the McAlester City Council on Tuesday — as the latest information from the Oklahoma Tax Commission’s May report shows another decrease in the city’s sales tax receipts.

The latest sales tax revenue report from the OTC shows the city’s tax revenue has dropped again when compared to the same time in 2012.

“Compared to last year, it’s down 10 and a-half percent,” said City Manager Pete Stasiak.

Although it’s termed the May report, it actually covers the time period from March 16 to April 15, Stasiak said.

Meanwhile, the deadline to adopt a city budget for the upcoming 2013-2014 Fiscal Year draws nearer.

The city’s new fiscal year begins July 1 and the new budget must be adopted at least seven days prior to that — leaving a June 23 deadline.

As part of the budgeting process, the city council’s budget workshop is set for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the council chambers at City Hall.

Stasiak has already told the council the city is facing approximately a $2.8 million revenue decrease in the coming fiscal year.

Anyone hoping the city’s sales tax revenues would improve with May’s OTC tax report is bound to be disappointed.

In the May returns, the city received $1,120,268 in city sales tax revenue disbursements from the Oklahoma Tax Commission.

That compares to $1,251,253 returned during the same time last year — which is $130,985 less than the sales tax revenue collected during the same time period in 2012.

Another number comes into play, however — and that’s the amount of money city had counted on coming in for the time period when planning the current budget last year.

That number is $1,286,916, according to information at City Hall, which means the city received $166,648 less than had been budgeted.

Still, Stasiak said Friday he does not expect to have to make any further adjustments in the city budget for the remainder of the current fiscal year, which ends June 30.

Stasiak said the adjustments made earlier this year as the trend toward declining sales tax continued should be sufficient to see the city through to the end of this fiscal year.

How the projected $2.8 million decline in city revenue will be absorbed for the coming 2013-2014 Fiscal Year, which begins July 1, is one of the main topics expected to be addressed at the city council’s Tuesday workshop.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.

 

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