Stillwater News Press

Government

May 29, 2012

Stillwater, Payne County cities see rise in sales tax revenue

STILLWATER, Okla. — Spring months brought major economic activity to Payne County communities.

Sales tax figures jumped significantly for almost all area towns, according to the May report from the Oklahoma Tax Commission. That report records sales tax revenue generated between March 16 and April 15.

Cushing saw another strong month with a 10 percent increase over the same period last year. Extensive construction in Cushing’s tank farms has led to more economic activity in Cushing, and oil activity might also help explain the gains around the county.

The mid-March to mid-April time frame includes the first full month after TransCanada announced it would move forward on construction of the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline. The period also includes the visit by President Barack Obama to Ripley in late March, which brought a number of media, officials and support staff to Payne County.

Through 11 months of the 2011 fiscal year, Cushing has collected $4.95 million in sales tax, which marks an 11.5 percent increase from this point last year.

Stillwater saw one of its biggest gains over last year, bringing in approximately $1.98 million in sales tax from mid-March to mid-April, which is more than an 11 percent gain over that same period last year.

Through 11 months of the 2011-12 fiscal year, Stillwater has brought in approximately $750,000 more than it did last fiscal year. That amounts to roughly $21.76 million through 11 months, which is an approximately 3.5 percent increase.

Mid-size economies in the region also saw major gains in the May report. Pawnee, Perkins and Perry each saw gains of more than 20 percent over the same period last year. Payne County as a whole saw a 15 percent increase in sales tax collections.

The general upswing in the latest report from the Oklahoma Tax Commission is consistent with other economic indicators for the state.

Finance Secretary Preston Doerflinger issued a statement earlier this month saying the Oklahoma economy is seeing significant growth despite recent drops in the price of oil and natural gas.

“We’re on a roll and, barring an international calamitous event, there’s no reason to expect anything will deter our economic progress through the next fiscal year and beyond,” Doerflinger said.

Similarly, the latest report on unemployment shows that while not at pre-recession levels, Oklahoma’s unemployment rate has continued to drop. The statewide unemployment rate was 5 percent in April, compared with 8.1 percent nationwide.

The most recent local numbers from March show that Payne County had an unemployment rate of 4.7 percent, which is lower than February’s rate of 6.2 percent and the March 2011 rate of 5 percent.

In March, Lincoln County had a similar rate of 4.9 percent while Pawnee County had one of the higher unemployment rates in the area at 6.4 percent. Both Logan and Noble counties had low unemployment levels in March with rates of 3.9 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively.

Below are the sales tax numbers from the May Oklahoma Tax Commission report. The first number is sales tax revenue received by city or county for that month. The number after the slash represents the percentage change for sales tax of the same period last year. All sales tax amounts have been rounded to the nearest dollar.

City    

Agra    $5,377 / -35%

Coyle    $1,206 / -4%

Cushing    $458,251 / +10%

Glencoe    $11,340 / +63%

Langston    $10,130 / +30%

Maramec    $564 / +25%

Morrison    $10,352 / +21%

Mulhall    $8,049 / +262%

Orlando    $4,647 / +237%

Pawnee    $59,720 / +23%

Perkins    $61,376 / +25%

Perry    $153,046 / +21%

Red Rock    $4,613 / +36%

Ripley    $2,671 / +6%

Stillwater    $1,977,265 / +11.1%

Tryon    $4,341 / +22%

Yale     $14,331 / +12%

County

Lincoln    $198,741 / +6%

Logan*    $284,558 / -19%

Noble    $129,043 / +13%

Pawnee    $236,594 / +51%

Payne    $645,028 / +15%

* Logan County sales tax rate decreased to 1 percent from a rate of 1.75 percent for this period in 2011. That represents a cut of almost 43 percent, meaning any figure above a 43 percent loss in Logan County actually represents an increase in economic activity.

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