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The Daily Ardmoreite
  • City offers sales tax reimbursement in wake of oversight

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  • As things stood prior to passage of the ¼-cent sales tax in September, the Ardmore sales tax was supposed to drop from 9 percent to 8.75 percent between October and December of this year.
    That will not be the case, however.
    The city of Ardmore released a notice informing the public that businesses will continue to collect the 9 percent sales tax through the end of the year. Because of passage of the ¼-cent sales tax to fund the Ardmore Development Authority, the rate had been scheduled to increase from the temporary 8.75 percent rate to 9 percent in January 2014.
    The notice said, "The city has been advised by the Oklahoma Tax Commission that, due to the time periods involved, it is not able to notify vendors to reduce the sales tax by a ¼-cent for the period from Oct. 1, 2013 through Dec. 31, 2013. Consequently, funds collected and remitted to the Tax Commission by local vendors and, thereafter, remitted to the city by the Tax Commission representing the ¼-cent sales tax for the period Oct. 1, 2013, through Dec. 31, 2013, will be earmarked for separate accounting and tracking."
    By statute, the city was obligated to inform the state tax commission the sales tax was expiring 60 days previous to the date. City manager J.D. Spohn said the city did not meet the deadline. The city had expectations the resolution, which was sent to the commission when the tax was passed in 1993, would suffice.
    "It used to be [sufficient] when you submitted the resolution that had the expiration," Spohn said. "Beginning in 2006, you had to remind them, but this is the first time we have had a tax expire."
    Those spending tax dollars in Ardmore will have the opportunity to recoup their ¼-cent sales expenditures from October through December. A claim can be submitted for reimbursement of the portion of sales tax attributed to the ¼-cent sales tax for the three-month period.
    "For the purpose of calculating any entitlement to reimbursement, a person will be entitled to a $1 refund for each $400 spent within the city limits on items on which sales tax is assessed and collected," the notice said.
    "To seek a refund, an individual must fill out a claim form and attach the original receipts reflecting the sales tax paid so that the city may make an appropriation calculation of any amount to be refunded. A claim form will be available at the city clerk's office on the first floor of City Hall beginning Oct. 15, 2013. In addition, a copy of the claim form will be available on the city's website at www.ardmore.org. Payments will be issued commencing on or after Feb. 25, 2014, for all verified request for reimbursement. A person is free to submit any number of non-duplicate claim forms or may submit one complete form."
    Page 2 of 2 - City clerk Ken Campbell said the reimbursements will take place following the payment of the sales tax from the tax commission to the city.
    "Vendors pay the commission for December sales tax in January," he said. "The commission pays the city in the first or second week in February for the last month's collection."
    Spohn said the city could collect in the neighborhood of $330,000 from the ¼-cent tax. The funding that is unclaimed will be in a separate account and must be utilized for development or improvements on facilities open to the public within the city. Spohn said the commission is looking at using the money for improvements in the city's parks.
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