Education tax collections hold steady in February

Vicky O. Misa
The Shawnee News-Star
A stack of money

Through a 0.495-cent Pottawatomie County sales tax increase for schools, backed by voters in November of 2015 and set to continue until June 30, 2026, schools have been collecting funds for four 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 estimated 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 $17,826,255.65.

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

• McLoud received $50,341.69 for the month, compared to a year ago, when $46,399.97 was collected. Since the tax began, McLoud's total collections are $2,424,947.19.

• Dale received $24,017.79, compared to a year ago, when $21,783.13 was collected. Since the tax began, Dale's total collections are $1,113,229.88.

• Bethel received $36,279.01, compared to a year ago, when $33,294.22 was collected. Since the tax began, Bethel's total collections are $1,775,697.06.

• Macomb received $7,931.11, compared to a year ago, when $7,507.38 was collected. Since the tax began, Macomb's total collections are $380,736.03.

• Earlsboro received $8,328.80 compared to a year ago, when $7,263.81 was collected. Since the tax began, Earlsboro's total collections are $373,758.67.

• North Rock Creek received $27,135.61, compared to a year ago, when $20,424.87 was collected. Since the tax began, North Rock Creek's total collections are $954,185.69.

• Grove received $15,916.65, compared to a year ago, when $13,763.10 was collected. Since the tax began, Grove's total collections to date are $694,194.95.

• Pleasant Grove received $7,233.07, compared to a year ago, when $6,222.77 was collected. Since the tax began, Pleasant Grove's total collections are $348,099.30.

• South Rock Creek received $12,730.31, compared to a year ago, when $11,158.63 was collected. Since the tax began, South Rock Creek's total collections are $563,125.79.

• Tecumseh received $63,286.86, compared to a year ago, when $56,534.75 was collected. Since the tax began, Tecumseh's total collections are $2,962,118.64.

• Shawnee received $107,402.20, compared to a year ago, when $100,381.53 was collected. Since the tax began, Shawnee's total collections are $5,224,066.72.

• Asher received $8,432.55, compared to a year ago, when $7,824.02 was collected. Since the tax began, Asher's total collections are $389,910.04.

• Wanette received $4,087.07, compared to a year ago, when $4,037.51 was collected. Since the tax began, Wanette's total collections are $211,776.67.

• Maud received $7,740.59, compared to a year ago, when $7,409.67 was collected. Since the tax began, Maud's total collections are $410,409.02.

Sales tax collections in February for all the schools combined tallied at $380,863.31.

Family Justice Center

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

In February, the Oklahoma Tax Commission remitted $3,847.10 in collections to the FJC, compared to $3,474.80 a year ago. To date, the FJC has received $181,189.47 from county sales tax.

For story ideas, questions or concerns, reporter Vicky O. Misa can be reached at vicky.misa@news-star.com.