October General Revenue Fund collections beat estimate
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Published: 23-Nov-2014

OKLAHOMA CITY– October General Revenue Fund (GRF) collections of $471.6 million were $3.4 million, or 0.7 percent, above the official estimate upon which the FY 2015 appropriated state budget is based and $23.3 million, or 5.2 percent, above prior year collections.

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 state budget. GRF collections, reported by the Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES), 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 prior to rebates, refunds and mandatory apportionments.

Total GRF collections for the first four months of FY 15 were $1.853 billion, which is $82.4 million, or 4.7 percent, above the estimate and $141.5 million, or 8.3 percent, above the prior year.

“Revenues are solid, but that doesn’t guarantee more money to appropriate in the next state budget,” said Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology Preston L. Doerflinger. “The current budget contains a significant amount of one-time money used to fill revenue holes and address pressing needs, which means next year’s budget effectively starts in a hole. The state has to recoup that money via GRF collections before it will have true revenue growth for the budget. This dilemma at a time of lower oil prices and increasing costs for off-the-top apportionments means a flat appropriated budget could be the best case scenario next year.”

The cost of mandatory apportionments, which are policies that cause revenue to be automatically directed away from the GRF to other specific purposes, is expected to continue rising.

“Policymakers should be cautious to avoid any more of this type of autopilot budgeting until the current situation is more fully understood and considered. It can be touchy and difficult work, but addressing fiscal issues like costly off-the-top apportionments needs to happen if priorities like schools, teacher pay, public safety and infrastructure are to receive the funding they want,” Doerflinger said.

In FY 07, the GRF received 55.2 percent of all state tax revenue collections. In FY 14, the GRF received just 46.7 percent of state tax collections due in large part to the increasing cost of mandatory apportionments. 

If current policies remain in place, by FY 17 the GRF will receive just 43.8 percent of gross collections, according to the latest state budget outlook multiyear trend projection by OMES.

“Just this week I heard an idea to chop more off the top of the budget to finish a museum. Why anyone would even suggest more off-the-top apportionments when they’re already so costly is beyond me,” Doerflinger said.

Doerflinger is director of OMES, which issues the monthly GRF reports.

Major tax categories in October contributed the following amounts to the GRF:

Total income tax collections of $211.6 million were $18.3 million, or 9.5 percent, above the estimate and $13.5 million, or 6.8 percent, above the prior year.

Individual income tax collections of $204.8 million were $20.7 million, or 11.2 percent, above the estimate and $10.8 million, or 5.6 percent, above the prior year.

Corporate income tax collections of $6.7 million were $2.4 million, or 26.6 percent, below the estimate and $2.7 million, or 68.8 percent, above the prior year.

Sales tax collections of $169.9 million were $5.3 million, or 3.2 percent, above the estimate and $11 million, or 6.9 percent, above the prior year.

Gross production tax collections of $11.4 million were $7.9 million, or 40.8 percent, below the estimate and $0.4 million, or 3.8 percent, above the prior year.

Natural gas collections constituted the full deposit to the GRF. No oil collections were received or expected because of statutory requirements directing the first $150 million in oil collections to designated funds, mostly for education.

Motor vehicle tax collections of $18.2 million were $1.3 million, or 7.9 percent, above the estimate and $1.6 million, or 9.4 percent, above the prior year.

Other revenue collections of $60.6 million were $13.7 million, or 18.4 percent, below the estimate and $3.2 million or 5 percent, below the prior year.


Monthly revenue tables are available on the OMES website

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