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Education, FJC tax funds: Collections report shows calm before COVID-19 shutdown

Vicky O. Misa

Most recent figures from the 0.495-cent Pottawatomie County sales tax increase show this month's collections are still on target, staying within consistent averages. Next month — and into the months ahead, data will begin to offer a better view of how the COVID-19 shutdown has been affecting the area.

Each month, the sales tax increase for schools — backed by voters in November of 2015 and set to continue until June 30, 2026 — has been racking up funds for area districts for more than three and a half years now.

The tax increase was proposed to achieve two things: a 0.49-cent portion –– projected to raise $3.7 million in revenue annually –– is being split between the county's 14 school districts, and the other portion of the tax — .005 cents — is being utilized for the construction, acquisition, maintenance and operation of the One Safe Place Family Justice Center. That amount of tax was expected to bring in $165,000 to $175,000 per year.

Collections for the tax increase began July 1, 2016.

So far, the grand total of collections for schools since the tax started is $14,263,423.64.

Figures show that, in April, school districts in Pottawatomie County received the following, with calculations based on number of students enrolled:

• McLoud received $42,795.72 for the month, compared to a year ago, when $42,929.36 was collected. Since the tax began, McLoud's total collections are $1,951,367.57.

• Dale received $20,091.06, compared to a year ago, when $20,598.45 was collected. Since the tax began, Dale's total collections are $888,296.88.

• Bethel received $30,707.99, compared to a year ago, when $31,341.51 was collected. Since the tax began, Bethel's total collections are $1,434,820.48.

• Macomb received $6,924.22, compared to a year ago, when $6,758.86 was collected. Since the tax began, Macomb's total collections are $305,563.13.

• Earlsboro received $6,699.57 compared to a year ago, when $6,886.98 was collected. Since the tax began, Earlsboro's total collections are $296,584.35.

• North Rock Creek received $18,838.31, compared to a year ago, when $15,459.88 was collected. Since the tax began, North Rock Creek's total collections are $711,990.09.

• Grove received $12,694.01, compared to a year ago, when $12,921.58 was collected. Since the tax began, Grove's total collections to date are $547,048.30.

• Pleasant Grove received $5,739.40, compared to a year ago, when $5,743.59 was collected. Since the tax began, Pleasant Grove's total collections are $281,321.60.

• South Rock Creek received $10,291.85, compared to a year ago, when $10,065.08 was collected. Since the tax began, South Rock Creek's total collections are $445,007.24.

• Tecumseh received $52,143.25, compared to a year ago, when $52,889.07 was collected. Since the tax began, Tecumseh's total collections are $2,371,883.54.

• Shawnee received $92,584.11, compared to a year ago, when $95,849.55 was collected. Since the tax began, Shawnee's total collections are $4,209,741.11.

• Asher received $7,216.27, compared to a year ago, when $7,324.93 was collected. Since the tax began, Asher's total collections are $310,434.96.

• Wanette received $3,723.90, compared to a year ago, when $3,709.93 was collected. Since the tax began, Wanette's total collections are $172,557.10.

• Maud received $6,834.10, compared to a year ago, when $7,895.97 was collected. Since the tax began, Maud's total collections are $336,806.29.

Sales tax collections in April for all the schools combined tallied at $317,283.76.

Family Justice Center

A portion of the education sales tax collections goes to the Family Justice Center — the other .005 cents.

In April, the Oklahoma Tax Commission remitted $3,204.88 in collections to the FJC, compared to $3,236.11 a year ago. So far this year, the FJC has received $13,111.62. To date, the FJC has received $145,201.27 from county sales tax.

Watch next month for updates on the effects on sales tax from the COVID-19 shutdown in the area.