Use tax gain offsets sales tax decline in Oklahoma City
Use tax gains based in significant part on online sales offset a sales tax decline for April in Oklahoma City.
Sales tax revenue fell 2.4% from the same time last year, to $36.2 million.
Use tax paid on goods purchased out of state gained 19.8%, to $7 million, over last April.
The $1.2 million use tax gain made up for the $890,000 sales tax drop.
Sales tax is the single-largest revenue source for city government. Use tax as a share of the overall budget has been growing as a result of court rulings and online retailers' collection of state and local taxes.
Not shown in the April figures is the significant sales tax slippage occurring due to coronavirus-related closures of local retailers.
April's sales tax check from the Oklahoma Tax Commission is based on sales in the last half of February and estimates for the first half of March, said Doug Dowler, the city's budget director.
"As such, the check does not reflect the significant reduction in economic activity that has occurred as a result of the coronavirus," he said.
"We expect to see those impacts in the May and June checks and expect to see significant declines in those months," Dowler said.
In anticipation, the city implemented a hiring freeze on March 23.
Cities in Oklahoma are dependent upon sales tax to cover everyday operating expenses. A 1-cent sales tax in Oklahoma City funds MAPS 4.