Lower retail sales should not affect pipeline payoff

Despite dwindling retail sales, city of Enid officials believe sales tax collections will start to increase, and won't threaten covering the cost of a water pipeline from Kaw Lake.

City Manager Jerald Gilbert said he believes, long term, sales tax will start to go back up.

"What we don't know is when that's going to happen," he said. "We all believe in Enid; we believe in the future of Enid. We know there's a lot of great things coming — new restaurants opening every day, it seems like, and more to come.

"I can't tell you when it's going to start going back up, but I believe it's going to go back up," Gilbert said. 

Gilbert said he does not think there will be an issue, long term, with a proposed three-quarter percent sales tax and the extension of a one-quarter percent sales tax covering the cost of the project over time.

"If it were a short term, if we were asking to do it for five years to 10 years, we might be more concerned about that. But because of the length of it, we believe that our economy cycles, just like it always has," Campaign Chairman Ernie Currier said. "Obviously, we may be in what we would consider a low cycle, but we certainly believe we're going to have our share of the higher cycles."

The tax will be in effect until 2052.

City officials have been "very conservative" with the amounts, Gilbert said.

In a way, lower sales tax collections are figured in, with the conservative numbers, he said.

"So, I'm comfortable that we'll be fine, and be able to weather through these fluctuations up and down," Gilbert said. "By making this decision, we think we're going to position ourselves for future growth and economic development well out past 2050, and we think that's the right thing to do."

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