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City sales tax falls short of expectations



mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";color:black">In a report issued to the
city council this week, Oklahoma City’s combined sales and use taxes for the
general fund were 2.3 percent below target for the year. By itself, sales tax collections
were down 5 percent in March from initial forecasts.

mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";color:black">“The thing that has had the
biggest impact [in declining sales tax] is income levels are down a bit in the
Metro area,” said Doug Dowler, the city’s budget director.

mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";color:black">Dowler said the region has
seen growth in lower income jobs, which could be dropping the income average
and creating a negative impact on sales tax.

mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";color:black">A response with major spending
cuts isn’t on the table as Dowler said the city’s unbudgeted reserve fund,
along with increased revenue in other places, should be enough to weather the decline.

mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";
color:black">“When we come up short in the current year, that could mean in
next year’s budget we will have less to work with,” Dowler said.
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