Medical marijuana gross sales tax will increase the Tulsa register amid the lack of income from COVID-19 marijuana in Oklahoma
Through November, the city’s general sales tax revenue was down 4.2%, or $ 3.4 million. While it wasn’t what Wagner and other city officials wanted to see, it’s better than the nearly 7% drop they projected.
The city is benefiting from continued growth in tax collections, which rose 9.8%, or $ 3.5 million, through November. Use taxes are levied on out-of-state purchases used here.
“That reflects online purchases. We see that in the rise in the usage tax,” said Wagner. “I think the more people stay at home and shop through online retailers, the more the purchases will shift from sales tax to usage tax.”
How much the pandemic helped or hurt local medical marijuana dispensaries is difficult to quantify, but the city’s sales tax numbers show an increase in sales since the virus broke out. From January through April, medical marijuana sales accounted for 0.95% of the city’s general tax revenue, with the percentage nearly doubling from May through November.
Wagner noted that the city’s sales tax audit was done by the Oklahoma Tax Commission on sales in late March and early April in May when the city began putting virus-related restrictions in place.
“That corresponds almost exactly to the period in which we started to stay at home (order),” said Wagner.