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OK Municipal Retail Trends Improve Further

Retail sales across Oklahoma’s cities continue to improve.

State sales subject to both sales and use tax are down only 5.4% year-to-date through July of 2020 vs. 2019. The gap relative to 2019 has narrowed steadily since April.

July 2020 taxable sales are down only 0.9% compared to July of 2019.

The map and data table below summarize combined sales subject to sales and use tax for all Oklahoma cities levying a sales or use tax in the year-to-date period through July of 2020 vs 2019.

Some key points include:

  1. OKC and Tulsa are showing resilience. Both cities are still weak relative to the prior year, but taxable sales are down only only a little more than 3% in each.
  2. OKC and Tulsa suburbs are generally stronger than the central cities. Most suburbs in both the OKC and Tulsa metro areas have managed to post a gain in taxable sales year-to-date.
  3. Tulsa suburbs continue to far outpace the city of Tulsa. Nearly every suburb in the Tulsa region has managed to post a gain in taxable sales year-to-date.
  4. The large suburbs in Tulsa are far outperforming the large suburbs in OKC.
  5. More than two-thirds of Oklahoma cities have now posted gains. Currently, 352 out of 516 (68%) reporting cities have a gain in taxable sales year-to-date in 2020 versus 2019.
  6. Several cities continue to face severe financial distress. 101 cities posted a loss of 10% or more year-to-date; 68 posted a loss of 20% or more; 38 posted a loss of 30% or more; 23 posted a loss of 40% or more.
  7. Several oil and gas towns continue to experience severe weakness. For example, El Reno taxable sales are down 48% year-to-date. Hennessey taxable sales are down 23%. Cushing tax sales are down 17.0%. Kingfisher posted a 15.4% decline.

*** The map allows zooming and panning for better viewing

Mark C. Snead is President and Economist at RegionTrack.

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