While the ice of December may have caused some communities’ sales tax revenues to slip, Claremore not only held strong but showed one of the highest regional increases in collections over 2006 figures.

According to city generated figures based on the month of December, sales tax collections were $933,294.95 — a 5.45 percent increase over $855,052.12 revenues collected for the same month in 2006.

The Oklahoma Tax Commission Web site reported Claremore sales tax collections from Nov. 16, 2007 to Dec. 15, 2007, to be $889,604, up from the 2006’s $770,378.24 for the same time period.

“Truthfully, I was expecting to see a decline (in sales tax collections) during December, from the ice storm and its subsequent aftereffects,” City Manager Troy Powell said, “but it stayed fairly consistent with the month before and was even higher than last December when there wasn’t an ice storm to take into consideration.”

The ice storm on Dec. 10, 2007, paralyzed much of the state with power outages from ice accumulations on power lines and tree limbs.

Portions of Claremore were without power for more than two weeks following the storms, as local and emergency electric crews worked around the clock to restore power.

Powell said smaller communities, such as Claremore and Owasso, faired better than larger metropolitans, including Jenks, Tulsa and Broken Arrow — all of which saw sales tax revenues in the red during December.

“We’d projected very conservatively at the beginning of the (fiscal) year — two percent — just to be on the safe side and I think that helped us stay on course in December,” Powell said. “Also, if I had to guess, I would think that perhaps because of the conditions — the power outages and the tree damage — people were more inclined to stay closer to home and spend their money within their communities, rather than go outside the community to do their Christmas shopping.”

City numbers also show sales tax revenues in nearby communities for December: Catoosa, $205,556.82 (8.69 percent increase), Broken Arrow, $2,533,051.94 (1.87 percent decrease), Owasso, $1,,575,026.08 (4.28 percent increase), and Tulsa, $19,423,400.85 (3.09 percent decrease).