February revenue collections continue positive trend
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Published: 14-Mar-2011
CapitolBeatOK Staff Report

Published 14-Mar-2011

Note: This report on Oklahoma government revenue is adapted from statements issued today by the office of state finance, and from the treasurer’s office.

Office of State Finance Director Preston Doerflinger announced Monday that Oklahoma consumer spending remained strong in February as General Revenue Fund collections surpassed last year’s receipts for the month by $25.7 million and the estimate by $8.7 million.

“We had double-digit growth again in sales tax receipts, compared with February a year ago, and it came when sales tax collections of other states trailed off,” Doerflinger said.

“We also are encouraged that personal income tax collections rose in February,” Doerflinger said.

While the official estimate for the 2011 fiscal year had forecast a drop in income collections this February, combined personal and corporate income tax receipts were $16.2 million, or 141 percent, higher than the same month a year ago.

“These numbers should be kept in context, understanding income tax collections are still 32 percent below collections in February of 2008 before the recession,” Doerflinger cautioned. “They do, however, indicate that we are experiencing a gradual recovery. The figures emphasize the importance of job creation to continued economic growth.”

A report released last week by the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission said the unemployment rate in Oklahoma fell to 6.6 percent in January, down from 6.8 percent the previous month.  Oklahoma’s unemployment rate during the recession peaked at 7.3 percent.

The revenue report released Monday by the OSF shows that General Revenue Fund collections totaled $247.1 million in February, according to preliminary calculations. That amount was:

  • $25.7 million or 11.6 percent above the same month one year ago; and
  • $8.7 million or 3.6 percent above the estimate for the month.
“The best thing we can do in government is to be good stewards of taxpayers’ money and make sure we do all we can to enact policies that grow our economy,” Gov.  Mary Fallin said in response to the OSF report. “It’s great news that our state is slowly recovering from this recession, but we need to do everything we can to speed up our recovery by continuing to promote growth in Oklahoma.”

State Treasurer Ken Miller, in a statement requested by CapitolBeatOK, reflected:

“With yet another month of growth in General Revenue collections over the prior year, we are seeing the continuation of a positive trend for Oklahoma’s economy. While strong leading economic indicators are driving renewed consumer optimism, potential threats to the recovery must be acknowledged and job numbers must continue to improve.

“In the coming months, we will be carefully monitoring broader revenue collections to see how the double-edged sword of rising oil prices will impact our overall economy.”

Doerflinger, Oklahoma’s secretary of finance, said high oil prices continue to produce money for the state’s General Revenue Fund, but the lag in natural gas prices is bringing down total gross production tax receipts.  The GRF, the main source of funding for state operations, receives a larger percentage of natural gas taxes than oil taxes.

The newly released OSF report showed total, year-to-date GRF collections are $3.102 billion, which is $100.8 million or 3.4 percent above the estimate for the fiscal year and $271.4 million or 9.6 percent above prior year collections for this same period of time.

General Revenue Fund collections for major tax categories in February were:

Income taxes -- This source collected $27.7 million in February for the FY-2011 General Revenue Fund, which was $16.2 million or 141 percent more than prior year collections from individual and corporate income taxes and $39 million above the estimate.

Individual income tax receipts of $26.8 million were $15.4 million above the prior year and $39 million above the estimate. Corporate returns totaled $897,359 for the month which was $0.8 million more than prior year collections and $0.1 million below the estimate.

Sales tax -- Sales tax collections produced $126.6 million for the General Revenue Fund, $12.5 million or 10.9 percent more than the prior year and $5.8 million or 4.8 percent above the estimate.

Gross production tax -- The February taxes on natural gas and gross production oil accounted for $52.5 million in General Revenue Fund receipts, which was $2.5 million or 4.5 percent below the prior year and $5.4 million or 9.3 percent below the estimate.

Collections of gross production taxes on natural gas totaled $20.8 million, $9.2 million or 30.7 percent below prior year collections and $13.9 million or 40.1 percent less than the estimate.

Collections of gross production taxes on oil produced $31.7 million, $6.7 million or 26.9 percent above prior year collections and $8.5 million or 36.5 percent more than the estimate.

Motor vehicle taxes -- This tax source produced $7.6 million, which was $3.8 million or 33.3 percent below the prior year and $4.2 million or 35.7 percent below the estimate.

Other Revenue -- Other revenue produced $32.7 million in February. This was $3.3 million or 11.2 percent above the prior year and $26.4 million or 44.7 percent below the estimate.

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