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Uncertainty remains for this and next fiscal year

OKLAHOMA CITY — General Revenue Fund collections in April missed the official monthly estimate by 12.9 percent and were 4.4 percent below the estimate for the fiscal year, leading to more uncertainty regarding deeper reductions to state agencies as the Legislature stalls with budget proposals.

“The uncertainty that one-time revenue sources have left us with make it difficult to build a budget,” said Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology Preston L. Doerflinger.

OKLAHOMA CITY — Strong storms toppled trees and knocked out power at the Capitol this weekend but didn’t shut down the security of and access to important data housed with the Office of Management and Enterprise Services at its Information Services Data Center.

Thanks to a plan that includes using up to four 1,450-horsepower generators cranking out 1,000 kilowatts of power, the power remained on at the Data Center and the data flowing through servers connected with more than 100 state agencies remained safe and accessible.

“This weekend’s storms demonstrated another success of IT consolidation, keeping the state online during a power outage,” said Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology Preston L. Doerflinger, who serves as director of OMES.

Borrowing necessary to make monthly agency allocations

OKLAHOMA CITY — General Revenue Fund (GRF) collections in March missed the official monthly estimate by 9 percent and are 2.8 percent below the estimate for the first three quarters of the fiscal year. Total GRF collections of $352.1 million in March will be short of the amount needed to make agency monthly allocations. About $31 million will need to be borrowed from other funds so agencies will receive their allotments.

“We’ve been forced to do this several times this fiscal year to avoid deeper cuts to agencies and keep government operating,” said Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology Preston L. Doerflinger. “We will be looking to April collections and other upcoming months to make up the difference and reconcile the borrowed funds as we are statutorily and constitutionally required to do.”

Website becomes more transparent and accessible

OKLAHOMA CITY — The State of Oklahoma officially launched today the new OKStateStat.ok.gov website, which looks beyond the numbers to align state dollars with Oklahoma’s priorities.

“OKStateStat.ok.gov is a tremendous tool for Oklahomans to hold us in state government accountable for performance in all areas of government,” said Governor Mary Fallin. “We’ve set the bar high on our goals, and we will be working hard to attain them. This website will help hold ourselves accountable as a state government. Policymakers and the public can visit OKStateStat.ok.gov to see where we need to go as a state and what measurements will determine our success in getting there.”

Number high after change in scholarship fund payment

OKLAHOMA CITY — A change in the payment date for a higher education scholarship fund has caused total General Revenue Fund receipts to appear artificially higher than expected at 8.3 percent above the estimate for February as corporate income tax collections remain unpredictable.

A change in the final $15.4 million payment of personal income tax collections from February to March to fund the Oklahoma’s Promise scholarship fund was made because of cash-flow concerns, said Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology Preston L. Doerflinger.

Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings has lowered Oklahoma’s various debt ratings one notch due to sustained weak revenue collections. S&P’s report can be viewed here https://go.usa.gov/xX3Dh.

"This report highlights several things that we've been saying for some time now," said Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology Preston L. Doerflinger. "We need to fix the structural budget deficit and our revenue problem."

S&P lowered general obligation bonds and appropriation debt backed by the state’s credit enhancement reserve fund one notch from AA+ to AA and the state’s appropriation debt from AA to AA-. S&P also assigned its AA- rating to the Capitol Restoration Project bonds.

State CIO comments on unification importance at House committee

OKLAHOMA CITY — State agencies are more efficient and better protected when information technology is unified under one umbrella, state Chief Information Officer Bo Reese told legislators today.

“There really are no bounds to what we can do when we have unified agencies willing to collaborate,” Reese told the House Government Modernization Committee.

Unification, legislatively mandated by HB 1304 in 2011, partners agencies with the Office of Management and Enterprise Services to streamline and consolidate IT efforts. Reese also responded to questions regarding legislative efforts this year to exempt agencies from unification by saying such action would in the long run cost Oklahoma money and risk the security of citizens’ data.

Fiscal year collections nearly 3% below estimate

OKLAHOMA CITY — General Revenue Fund (GRF) collections in January missed the official monthly estimate by 3.4 percent and were 2.8 percent below the estimate for the first seven months of the fiscal year as sales tax receipts fell below projections and corporate income tax collections continued to show their volatility.

Although gross collections showed a slight improvement in January, as reported earlier this month by the State Treasurer, collections to the GRF still fell below the estimate after rebates, refunds and mandatory apportionments. Despite January historically being a good month for collections, GRF receipts nevertheless fell short this year.

Caution needed as tax collections continue slide

OKLAHOMA CITY — General Revenue Fund (GRF) collections in December missed the official monthly estimate by 12.3 percent and are 2.7 percent below the estimate for the first six months of the fiscal year as most major tax categories lagged behind projections.

“The news is not as good as we might have hoped coming out of the holiday season,” said Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology Preston L. Doerflinger. “This will be a challenging time as we face a nearly $900 million budget hole and a necessity to find more recurring revenue sources. As I’ve said many times, we’re not going to cut our way out of this situation.”

Sales tax collections continue slide; receipts remain below yearly estimate

OKLAHOMA CITY — An unexpectedly high deposit from individual income tax collections pushed November’s General Revenue Fund (GRF) 7.3 percent above the monthly estimate, but with sales tax collections continuing to slide the total receipts for the fiscal year remained below the estimate.

“We’ve been saying for more than a few months now that the sales tax collections are some of the more troubling numbers,” said Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology Preston L. Doerflinger. “Sales tax collections are probably a better gauge of where things stand than the fluctuating income tax receipts.”

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