Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Local News

May 28, 2013

Taxes make strides in fiscal year — As the success of financially ambitious projects have proven on more than one occasion, no one example is able to sustain a positive rate without building a solid foundation over time.

Literally growing one penny after another, the sales tax numbers for the 2012-2013 fiscal year are not only turning out to be good news for the city of Pauls Valley, for City Manager James Frizell it is looking to end as one of the best years since they started tracking revenue in 1994.

With a little more than a month to go before the new fiscal year begins July 1, at $4,627,818 collected already, it’s on pace to be the best year ever reported.

“Our sales tax like the state’s, it’s been really good,” said Frizell. “It’s up six percent from this time last year, it’s been real healthy.”

Averaging at about $420,000 per month, it adds up to about $105,000 per penny collected from each of the four cents total, according to Frizell.

Much of this is attributed to all of the investments in tourism as well as new businesses, be it several years ago like the Reynolds Recreation Center in the park and restaurants like Roma’s and the Boom-a-Rang Diner to events throughout the year hosted by community organizations.

“I think everything we do related to tourism in community, all those things we’ve done has helped us directly with sales tax,” said Frizell.

Some of the months which stood out above the rest include December, which collected about $455,757 and January, coming in around $436,809 in sales taxes, said Frizell. It’s a significant milestone that is expected to carry through and is setting new highs for many months with more than $100,000 above the same time last year.

“It will be the first time since we started collecting that four cent sales tax that we’ve averaged over $400,000,” said Frizell. “Right now our four cents is averaging $420,000 a month, that’s really healthy.”

It is progress that bodes well for the year ahead as the city has started their budget workshops, which they will attempt to have done by the June 11 city council meeting in order to meet the requirement of at least seven days before the end of the fiscal year, said Frizell.

Some of the areas expected to see benefits is roadwork like resurfacing since the half cent dedicated to that has accumulated about $500,000 to date.

Adding to the potential for money to go further is the fact that there aren’t any huge projects planned at the moment and no major expenses as far as purchases other than a few vehicles in the coming year, said Frizell.

He noted how at least for now it means much less stress than a few years ago when the economy bottomed out and included major expenses like the now finished water plant.

In the end, it’s not a trend Frizell can guarantee continues, but he believes there is plenty of confidence that it will. Some of that confidence is due to coming additions like a Tractor Supply along Indian Meridian and the new water park, which should only encourage people to keep coming to Pauls Valley for years to come.

“Obviously it helps when people spend money and that’s what it’s about,” said Frizell. “Stuff like that will help us continue to grow, bring in consumers.”

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