New Tool for Collecting Local Sales Tax Available Now:
An important new tool is available for you to increase collections of your sales and use tax. Your knowledge of your community can now directly be brought to bear for local compliance of municipal and state law, SB750. Posted 7/12
OK Rallying for Online Sales Tax - KFOR TV - added 9/23/11
TASK FORCE UPDATE Tuesday, September 20th was the first meeting of the Task Force on Collection, Distribution and Enforcement of Municipal Sales Tax.
Helpful Funding Resource Tools for Municipalities from OML and Other Sources
Revenue Generating Tools
Includes: - Managing Your Limited Resources Without Outside Help: A few practical ideas
- Cities Mean Business
- Municipal Warrant Intercept Registration Form
Municipal Finance & Revenue Efficiencies in Oklahoma
Includes: - Developments on Telecommunication Industry Inclusion in Streamline Sales Tax
-Municipal Fiscal Task Force Created by HB 2653
-HB 2359 Detailed Summary
-Streamlined Sales Tax (SST)
Municipal Finance & Revenue Issues in the News
Cities Complain Theyre Being Shortchanged by the Tax Commission
Unpaid sales taxes add up for Tulsa, analysis shows
Sales Tax Options
Includes - Healthy Cities Need Healthy Funding Sources
- Healthy Cities Power Point Presentation
- The Use Tax and You
- Critics Assail Governor Henry’s Internet Tax Compliance Ideas
- State Could Save $259 Million by Eliminating Some Tax Credits and Exemptions
- Muskogee Tax Prosecution
Cities Mean Business Power Point Presentation (.ppt)
Role of Liaison Board
Following discussions between OTC and OML staff about concerns with collection and enforcement of municipal sales and use taxes, both parties agreed to establish a method for regular input from cities and towns. In response, the OML Board of Directors created the Municipal Liaison Board to the Oklahoma Tax Commission. Members are: Altus Finance Director JoeDon Dunham, Bartlesville City Manager Ed Gordon, Bixby City Manager Doug Enevoldsen, Edmond Finance Director Ross VanderHamm, Muskogee City Attorney John Vincent, Oklahoma City Treasurer Robert Ponkilla, Piedmont Mayor Mike Fina, Tulsa Treasury Manager Stan Jones and Woodward Finance Director Doug Haines. We thank these gentlemen for agreeing to be leaders in this effort.
The Liaison Board met with OTC in forthright discussion about OTC’s procedures for collecting, auditing, pursuing delinquent taxpayers, providing useful reports and the desire for transparency in OTC operations and financial expenditures. The Liaison Board is meeting monthly to establish a blueprint for continuing dialogue with OTC about areas of cooperation and accountability under the municipal contracts. In other activity, the Board has reviewed bills from the 2010 session, studied Streamline Sales Tax, written a paper for the Oklahoma Academy, and started developing a best practices guide for enhancing revenues and dealing with OTC.
Municipal Enforcement Options:
Author: Shawn Ashley, eCapitol, Date: 09/16/2010
(OK) Members of a task force charged with examining the law governing municipal finance said they are concerned local governments are too reliant on sales tax revenue for their operation, as the panel began its work Thursday.
"One of my biggest concerns is the lack of diversification of revenue sources and the over reliance on the sales tax to provide revenues to municipalities' general funds," Oklahoma City Assistant City Manager Cathy O'Connor said.
O'Connor is one of the nine members of the Task Force on Municipal Finance. Other members include:
• Carolyn Stager, with the Oklahoma Municipal League;
• Terry Simonson, chief of staff and general counsel to Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett;
• Joe Don Dunham, financial director for the city of Altus;
• Lawrence Mitchell, Lawton city manager;
• Dawn Cash, director of tax policy for the Oklahoma Tax Commission;
• Michael Clingman, Office of State Finance director;
• Sen. Patrick Anderson, R-Enid; and
• Rep. Daniel Sullivan, R-Tulsa.
Sullivan was the House author of HB 2653. The bill, which was sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Brian Crain, R-Tulsa, created the nine-member Task Force on Municipal Finance to examine the laws governing municipal finance for all forms of municipal government. It states that the task force is exempt from the Oklahoma Open Meeting Act and the Oklahoma Open Records Act. It requires the task force to submit a report to the House speaker, Senate president pro tempore and governor by Jan. 31, 2011. It states that the task force is to terminate effective Feb. 1, 2011.
Sullivan was elected chairman of the task force and Anderson was elected vice chairman.
Sullivan the idea for the bill resulted from a discussion with Simonson and other Tulsa officials concerning ways of improving municipal finance. Generally, Sullivan and the other panel members noted, municipalities must rely on sales tax revenue for operational expenditures. Their access to property tax revenue is limited to the city's sinking fund, which is used to make certain bond payments and legal settlements. Mitchell said Oklahoma was the only state in the nation that required municipalities to rely almost exclusively on sales tax collections for operations.
"The purpose of this task force it to come up with ideas of what the Legislature could do to assist municipalities with their financial struggles," Sullivan said.
The municipal representatives and Stager agreed with O'Connor that local governments were forced to be overly reliant on sales tax revenue. That, O'Connor noted, can be problematic because of changes in the state's overall economy where more money is spent on services, most of which are exempt from sales tax, than on goods. And, O'Connor noted, the growth of sales tax exemptions on both goods and services has negatively impacted municipal revenues.
"(The sales tax) is not the diverse source of revenue it was 25 or 30 years ago," she said.
The over reliance on sales tax revenue, O'Connor added, has created a competition for the revenue that she called unfortunate.
"The Oklahoma City suburbs are chasing after every grocery and big box store because they need the sales tax revenue," she said.
Dunham noted that municipalities also must compete with county governments, school districts and other political subdivisions for sales tax revenues as more of them seek to tap the funding source. Mitchell agreed, saying, "Not only is it a question of municipality versus municipality, but we are also seeing other entities trying to use the sales tax to fund their projects."
"The sales tax," Dunham added, "does not go far enough to cover our infrastructure needs, so municipalities need something more than the sales tax."
Dunham also said smaller communities, such as his, often lose retail sales to neighboring larger communities when people drive there to shop rather than making their purchases from local merchants.
"When they do that, the sales tax revenue goes to that other community," Dunham said.
Members agreed to spend the next several meetings hearing and discussing presentations related to the municipal finance issue. Presentations are expected Oct. 7, the date of the task force's next meeting, from the Oklahoma Municipal League, the Oklahoma Tax Commission and House staff.
In addition to the Oct. 7 meeting, a tentative schedule was set through November, including Oct. 28, Nov. 4, Nov. 11 and Nov. 18.
The Oklahoma Tax Commission (OTC) has completed the “warrant intercept registration” process that was enacted into law by HB 1800 during the 2009 legislative session with clean-up and implementation language enacted by HB 3166 during the 2010 legislative session. The intent of this legislation is to allow a municipality to file a claim with the OTC for any portion of a tax refund due to a municipal court defendant to satisfy the debt, unpaid municipal fines and costs, or final judgment in full or in part.
Attachments include: Memo from OTC; Warrant Intercept Registration Form; and Applicable portion of the enacted legislation.(.pdf)
The Oklahoma Municipal League (OML) is also exploring an enhancement to this program that could possibly simplify this process even more.
If you have any questions, please direct them to Sharissa Fisher---Manager Warrant Intercept Program: firstname.lastname@example.org
- OTC Delinquent Notice (.doc) Letter that is sent out by the city of Choctaw for delinquent payments and the certificate that must be signed by the OTC on behalf of that business.
- Choctaw Cover Letter (.doc) OML cover letter for the Choctaw sales tax collection packet.
- Choctaw law on Sales Tax Collection (.doc)
Sapulpa Fire Department Collection (.pdf) - Sapulpa’s ordinance and resolutions, one for fire collections to homeowners insurance and the other for city collections.
Thank you to the City of Lawton for their innovative thinking and information. The administrative policy basically directs the City to adopt an “idling policy” and the “annexes” are specific compliance requirements for each department.
IDLING SECURING POLICY 3 25.doc(39KB)
City Clerk Annex.doc(31KB) Community Services Annex.doc(32KB)
Finance Annex.doc(33KB) Fire Department Annex.doc(29KB)
Human Resources Annex.doc(31KB) Library Annex.doc(32KB)
Municipal Court Annex.doc(32KB) Parks & Recreation Annex.doc(119KB)
Police Annex.doc(35KB) Public Works Annex.doc(117KB)
Information on how the city of Muskogee prosecutes businesses who fail to file their sales tax reports.
Sec. 74-34. Failure to file; fraudulent returns; penalties.
In addition to all civil penalties provided by this article, the willful failure or refusal of any taxpayer to make reports and remittances herein required, or the making of any false and fraudulent report for the purpose of avoiding or escaping payment of any tax or portion thereof rightfully due under this article shall be an offense, and upon conviction thereof, the offending taxpayer shall be subject to punishment according to a schedule of fines, as shall be modified from time to time by the council, and made available for public viewing in the office of the clerk of court, as provided in section 1-14.
(Code 1993, § 10-221)
State law references: Failure to file, 68 O.S.§240; fraudulent returns, 68 O.S.§240.1.
Fill In Information (.pdf)
Fill in Affidavit (.pdf)
OKLAHOMA CITY -- If you live in Oklahoma, you've probably felt the effects of budget cuts in your town. That's because the budgets in most cities and towns are funded by sales tax revenue, which has plummeted in the last couple of years. Some cities are pointing a finger at the Oklahoma Tax Commission, saying it's not doing a good job collecting the taxes.
To read more of this article, go to the News9 website here.
Read more from this Tulsa World article at http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=11&articleid=20100905_11_A1_CUTLIN708551&archive=yes
HB 3054 by Speaker Benge and Sen. Mazzei creates the Municipal Fiscal Impact Act requiring a fiscal impact statement for a bill the legislative committee wishes to consider or approve. This will slow down legislative enactments of unfunded mandates. The bill goes into effect on November 1, 2010.
- Grocery Sales Tax Death Fact Sheet (.doc)
The National League of Cities Enterprise Programs offers products and services that provide cost savings and value added solutions to cities. By developing strategic relationships with private companies and non-profit organizations, these solutions can help meet your city’s critical needs and stretch your city budget. NLC is continuing to develop top quality products and services to offer exclusive savings to cities.
Click here to view the current Enterprise Programs available from the National League of Cities
- The Use Tax and You by Douglas Enevoldsen
- Critics Assail Governor Henry’s Internet Tax Compliance Ideas by Patrick B. McGuigan
- State Could Save $259 Million by Eliminating Some Tax Credits and Exemptions by Barbara Hoberock
- see also the Muskogee Tax Prosecution section.