Metro briefs

Sales tax collections dip

Oklahoma City’s combined sales tax collections were 5 percent below target for the year in March.

“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.

A response with major spending cuts isn’t on the table yet, as Dowler said the city’s unbudgeted reserve fund, along with increased revenue in other places, should be enough to weather the decline.

Cornett speaks in DC

City Mayor Mick Cornett addressed the U.S. Senate Committee on
Environment and Public Works on March 27. He spoke about the
relationship between cities, states and the federal government on
transportation projects. He was one of two mayors to address the
committee, which is working on the reauthorization of a transportation
funding bill.

Council moves toward TIF district

Oklahoma City Council voted last week to move forward on the possible
creation of a tax increment financing (TIF) district that will use sales
tax revenue to assist private development along NE 23rd Street.

A proposal includes a $20 million mixed-use development anchored by a new Buy For Less grocery store.

council’s unanimous vote will create a review committee that will
present a detailed plan to the city council. A designation of blight
will be needed from the council in order to establish a TIF district
that will use sales tax revenue to assist private development.

Ben Felder

Ben is an urban affairs reporter covering local government and education in Oklahoma City. He lives in OKC with his wife, Lori, and son, Satchel. Ben holds a masters in new media journalism from Full Sail University and is an OKC transplant from Kansas City, Mo. Twitter: @benfelder_okg

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