Jun. 19—All those pennies can add up to a lot.
The city of McAlester's sales tax remittance for June is in at $1,504,970.41. City leaders are hoping it's continuing a trend, because the city's remittance from the Oklahoma Tax Commission for May is even higher. It came in at $1,579,890.56, according to OTC records.
McAlester City Manager Pete Stasiak thinks both the June and May returns are some all-time highs.
"In the 12 years that I've been here, I can't remember when we've ever had returns at $1.5 million," Stasiak said.
That brings the two-month total returns from the June and May sales tax disbursement from the Oklahoma Tax Commission to more than $3 million — at $3,084,860.97.
Stasiak thinks he has a pretty good idea of what's driving the economic boom.
"I think the stimulus package that was done played a part of it," he said.
"People are out shopping and spending their money. We've been locked down for 14 months and people are out shopping."
But wait; there's more. McAlester is also seeing an increase in its use tax returns, basically on items purchased out-of state for use in McAlester.
McAlester's June use tax disbursement for June totaled $144,623.45. Its May use tax disbursement came to even more at $180,483.47. That brings the two month use tax total to $325,266.81.
When that's added to the two-month regular sales tax total of $3,084,860.97, the combined sales and use tax remittance from OTC to the city of McAlester for June and May comes to $3,410,127.78.
What does it mean for the city of McAlester?
"This gives us additional funds for street overlays, water lines and sewer lines replacement," Stasiak said. He noted the city has been acting to upgrade its water plant.
"We're starting more to focus on the sewer plants," he said.
McAlester gets 3.75 cents of the sales tax on each dollar spent for sales in the city, with the rest split between the state of Oklahoma and Pittsburg County.
Upticks in sales tax disbursements for June and May were especially welcome, since the April returns were down at approximately $1.082,000 million, said Stasiak. June returns primarily represent local sales tax receipts from business in April, while May receipts primarily represent sales tax collections from March business. April returns primarily represent business from February.
While Stasiak attributes the increased sales tax returns to people spending more due to the federal stimulus package, he's glad to see the upswing, whatever the reason.
"This gives us an opportunity to invest more in the community," Stasiak said.
Contact James Beaty at firstname.lastname@example.org.