Who has the lowest sales tax rate in our area?
If you answered “A” for Luther, you are correct. And some might say we have the crumbling infrastructure in Town to prove it. For every dollar spent on #lutherlocal at our hometown businesses, three cents of the sales tax rate comes back to Luther. The numbers are calculated by the Oklahoma Tax Commission.
Choctaw has the highest local sales tax in the area at .0425 while Harrah, Jones and Wellston have a four cent sales tax rate. In Edmond, the rate is .0375. Luther’s local sales tax rate is .03, the lowest in the area.
Of Luther’s total 7.5% sales tax rate, the state gets the other 4.5 pennies per dollar spent.
Now for some more numbers. The latest OTC report shows each municipality in the area, with the exception of Edmond and Harrah, increased its sales tax collections for the May report that reflects collections in March and April when compared to the same period in 2016. For Luther, sales tax collections are trending up when compared to the previous year, with a few exceptions such as March 2017 which was the biggest month of 2017 so far, but was even bigger in 2016.
LUTHER 0.03 SALES TAX
May 2017 $32,302.11
May 2016 $26,698.55
April 2017 $28,487.17
March 2017 $35,971.41
March 2016 $43,791.79
Feb 2017 $33,465.24
Jan 2017 $34,017.62
The slight uptick could reflect the new businesses in town including The Chicken Shack, 116 Farmstead Market & Table, Rustic Farm, DJ’s BBQ and Urban 66. None of those businesses were open a year ago.
OTC also reports use tax collections. Use tax reflects purchases from out of state when state sales taxes are not collected at the point of purchase. Businesses or individuals pay the sales tax voluntarily when the tax assessment is not automatic (we are all supposed to do that according to OTC) and its called use tax. Recently Amazon customers began paying that tax and those collections are being reflected on monthly use tax reports. However, Luther’s use tax collection is about the same from March – May, although the numbers are up from a year ago.
LUTHER 0.03 USE TAX
May 2016 $1,734.60
April 2017 $2,798.43
March 2017 $2,193.35
The Town Board uses these numbers and other estimates of revenue to plan its yearly budget. Some of the other town revenue sources come from fines (tickets) and forfeitures, motor fuel taxes, utilities and other fees. The Town Board will discuss the budget at its discussion meeting on Thursday, May 25. A budget is expected to be presented to the public soon after that to comply with a June 30 deadline.