Enid News & Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Business continues to boom in Enid and throughout most of northwest Oklahoma, based on October sales tax distributions to cities and towns from Oklahoma Tax Commission.
The current figures represent local tax receipts from spending in late August and early September. Net taxable sales in Enid during that period were more than $9 million higher compared to the same period in 2011.
According to OTC figures, net taxable sales in Enid during the period were up 15 percent over sales during the same period in 2011. That continues a trend of double-digit increases every month this year except February.
The city of Enid received $2,497,129 from OTC in September, an increase of $325,64 over last year. That represents an increase in taxable sales at Enid cash registers of $9,290,400 more than last year.
Ward 5 City Commissioner Tammy Wilson said the thing that comes to mind is there are more people in town in oilfield-related business.
“I’m sure that has something to do with it ... That’s the most obvious. Also the wind energy construction, there is a lot of construction in town now. The event center has people in town working on that, there’s a lot of different stuff in town going on,” she said.
Brent Kisling, president of Enid Regional Development Alliance said the biggest impact is the oil play in the Mississippi limestone formation near Enid, and the wind energy construction going on.
“We’ve got 200-plus people living in Enid doing construction, and also our local businesses have grown this year — specifically this summer into fall. Koch Nitrogen had a lot of people in town for some work they are doing. A lot of hotel rooms are full because of growth at Koch Nitrogen plant,” Kisling said.
However, Kisling cautioned most of the activity — particularly the oil play and energy construction — will not last forever. The role of community leadership, he said, is to make sure to find things that will take the place of the current activity when it is gone.
“We must find something to take its place,” Kisling said. “Our priorities at the Enid Regional Development Alliance are value-added agriculture — there is a lot of opportunity there; there are manufacturing and regional offices we could be pursuing, both in the fossil fuel and wind energy; and we have a high priority on aerospace companies now.”
He said ERDA is working with a couple of companies that assemble unmanned aircraft and also for final assembly for small aircraft.
“As many people [that] go to work in Enid every day thinking about airplanes, you’d think we would have more of an aerospace industry than we do,” Kisling said.
The upward trend for net taxable sales has continued elsewhere; sales have been up throughout northwest Oklahoma all year.
The towns of Medford and Cherokee saw large increases of more than 100 percent. Medford recorded an increase of 115.8 percent — $1,097,700 — in net taxable sales for the August-September period compared to a year ago. Cherokee saw an increase of 108.4 percent — $2,344,738 — for the period.
Other net taxable sales increases by percentage and dollar amounts for county seats in northwest Oklahoma were: Alva, 25.9 percent, $1,965,223; Woodward, 18.6 percent, $4,918,057; Fairview, 16.8 percent, $574,825; and Kingfisher, 1.2 percent, $96,466.
Only Watonga recorded a decline in net taxable sales. The Blaine County seat saw a decline of 47.3 percent, or $2,299,720 less in sales.