Recovery continues to be slow, steady
OKLAHOMA CITY — General Revenue Fund collections in September were $505.1 million and came in flat when compared with the monthly estimate. However, collections to the GRF were $52.4 million, or 11.6 percent, higher than prior year collections for September.
"I want to continue the drumbeat of urging caution to those who are advocating for optimism when analyzing these revenues. Nothing we are seeing right now indicates that there will be considerably more money for agency appropriations in February," said Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology Preston L. Doerflinger.
Income tax receipts were up 11.1 percent for September, the driving factor being corporate income tax with a 44 percent increase over prior year's collections.
Motor vehicle tax collections were down for the third consecutive month and down 8.1 percent from this time last year, potentially due to the uncertainty with the Oklahoma Supreme Court's decision on removing a 1.25 percent tax exemption.
"Meeting the estimate is a positive sign, but this recovery will be measured in inches, not miles, for the foreseeable future," said Doerflinger. "We are now into our third week of Special Session and there still is not an agreement on a solution to the $215 million budget hole. The three agencies affected by the Supreme Court's decision on SB 845 did not receive expected allocations to their Health Care Enhancement Fund this month. Any encouragement that can be found in meeting our estimate must be tempered with the reality that due to this loss of funding those agencies are likely making cuts."
As state government's main operating fund, the GRF is the key indicator of state government’s fiscal status and the predominant funding source for the annual appropriated state budget. GRF collections are revenues that remain for the appropriated state budget after rebates, refunds and mandatory apportionments. Gross collections, reported by the State Treasurer, are all revenues collected by the state before rebates, refunds and mandatory apportionments.
Doerflinger is director of OMES, which issues the monthly GRF reports.
Major tax categories in September contributed the following amounts to the GRF:
Total income tax collections of $241 million were $27.5 million, or 12.9 percent, above the estimate and $24.1 million, or 11.1 percent, above the prior year.
Individual income tax collections of $194.4 million were $6.1 million, or 3.2 percent, above the estimate and $9.8 million, or 5.3 percent, above the prior year.
Corporate income tax collections of $46.6 million were $21.4 million, or 84.8 percent, above the estimate and $14.3 million, or 44.4 percent, above the prior year.
Sales tax collections of $172.6 million were $5.9 million, or 3.5 percent, above the estimate and $24.4 million, or 16.5 percent, above the prior year.
Gross production tax collections of $22.3 million were $1.4 million, or 6.0 percent, below the estimate and $11.8 million, or 112.9 percent, above the prior year.
Natural gas collections of $19.4 million were $2.5 million, or 11.3 percent, below the estimate and $10.4 million, or 114.4 percent, above the prior year.
Oil collections of $2.9 million were $1 million, or 56.3 percent, above the estimate and $1.5 million, or 103.6 percent, above the prior year.
Motor vehicle tax collections of $15.5 million were $2.8 million, or 15.3 percent, below the estimate and $1.4 million, or 8.1 percent, below the prior year.
Other revenue collections of $53.7 million were $29.1 million, or 35.1 percent, below the estimate and $6.6 million, or 10.9 percent, below the prior year.
Revenue tables can be viewed on the OMES website: https://www.ok.gov/OSF/News/September_2017_Financial_Report_Data_Tables.html
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