While the City of Guthrie has seen a decrease in sales tax receipts to start the new fiscal year, the City Use Tax receipts is surging over 50 percent.
Use tax receipts were up sharply in December from the same time a year earlier, along with October and November.
The main factor in the increases is the sales tax collected from online shopping, including Amazon.com and by third-party vendors selling through Amazon, which began July 1, 2018.
Use tax is sales tax levied on products purchased elsewhere and shipped into Oklahoma. Use tax also is due on major purchases, such as when a farmer orders a tractor from a national dealer in another state and has it shipped into Oklahoma.
Use Tax collections in Guthrie were up 116 percent this December ($48,063.97) compared to December 2017.
For the first three months of the fiscal year (October through December) the City has received $126,879.79 in Use Tax, which is$44,040.47, or 53 percent, higher than the same period last year.
So far, the Use Tax is 26 percent above the City’s projection.
City Manager Leroy Alsup says the use tax can be tricky and that local shopping still accounts for the vast majority of sales tax revenue.
“Use Tax tends to be more volatile or fluctuating than even sales tax, so it is rarely used as an indicator.”
The upward trend comes at the right time as city sales tax receipts are down $81,665.48 in the first three months. Related article: City sales tax down for second straight month
Guthrie and all other Oklahoma municipalities rely on sales tax for everyday operating expenses, including police and fire protection.