City Sales Tax Report Shows Big Rise in Spring and Summer Despite Rising COVID-19 Cases | New

Norman recorded significant tax revenue over the summer – what city officials say is in part due to a significant rebound in retail from last year’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Norman’s tax revenue totaled $ 7.8 million in June, $ 8.05 million in July, nearly $ 8.14 million in August and over $ 8.4 million in August, according to a monthly report. September. This equates to 42.34%, 20.75%, 16% and 31.13% increases over the same months in 2020.

The third and final round of US bailout stimulus checks first hit bank accounts on March 12. The impact of those payments and other sales tax returns is best reflected in the report two months after the companies submitted their tax numbers, said Anthony Francisco. , city finance director.

Francisco said the last four monthly reports showing a double-digit change from previous years were an encouraging sign for the economic recovery from the first months of the pandemic in 2020. He said the increase in yields could be due to a combination of pent-up demand, federal stimulus payments and reflecting when COVID-related restrictions negatively affected retail activity.

Dan Schemm, director of VisitNorman, expects Norman to have a solid year for sales tax revenue “unless there are horrific setbacks with the pandemic.” The city on Wednesday reported 559 new cases of COVID-19 in the previous week, bringing its then active cases to 919, according to records from the Oklahoma State Department of Health. Four deaths were reported during that time, bringing the city’s total to 212, according to records.

Schemm said he recently discussed the Delta variant of COVID-19 with Dale Bratzler, COVID manager at the University of Oklahoma, about the viral variants causing eight-week spikes before giving way to a downward trend in hospitalizations.

He said COVID-19 cases increased in the spring and summer along with promising sales tax reports.

“I think the people who are vaccinated are coming out, and the people who haven’t been vaccinated have made that decision, and I don’t think they have changed the way they live,” Schemm said. “The number of cases could certainly have an impact on these reports, but I hope this trend continues.”

Schemm said his team’s focus has shifted this spring to leisure travel. He said that “there was pent-up demand” in this industry, which led to his marketing decision.

“For him to continue with these increases that we’ve seen since the spring, with the exception of an issue in April, throughout September, has been great,” he said.

Schemm also said the return of OR football to games at full capacity is expected to generate hefty sales tax figures. Games for the 2020 season have been capped at 25%.

“I think people were excited to come back and then with OU Football I think the numbers are definitely up, so we’re looking forward to a fabulous Q4,” said Shelley Cox, owner of Cayman’s Clothing, who has also noted his store. has seen an increase in income since the spring months.

Finally, Schemm said his monthly hotel / motel industry report shows a rebound in key performance indicators. According to its most recent report for July, the occupancy rate was 61.3%, an increase of 21.1% from the same month in 2020. The average daily room rate in July was 90. $ 25, up from $ 71.69 in 2020.

The July 2019 report shows the average daily rate to be $ 83.51. As of July 2021, the average daily rate was $ 90.25.

“We can see that we are getting more visitors and that they are spending more money,” Schemm said. “I hope these efforts from VisitNorman have contributed a bit to these sales tax numbers that we are seeing.”

Jeff Elkins covers business, life, and community stories for The Transcript. Contact him at or @ JeffElkins12 on Twitter.

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