General Revenue collections end first half of Fiscal Year 2012 on high note

General Revenue Fund collections hit a high note to end 2011, recording double-digit growth in December and for the first six months of the current fiscal year, Office of State Finance Director Preston Doerflinger announced Tuesday (January 10).

“We had the best two months of the 2012 fiscal year in November and December, putting an exclamation point on our recovery from the Great Recession,” Doerflinger said as he released the OSF’s monthly General Revenue Fund report.

In December, total collections grew by 19.3 percent over the same month a year ago, while beating the official estimate by 16.6 percent. That came on the heels of November’s report showing growth of 22.6 percent and 18 percent, respectively, for that month over November of the prior year and the estimate.

“As we look toward the second half of the fiscal year, it is unrealistic to expect that such dramatic increases in receipts will continue on a month-to-month basis,” said Doerflinger, secretary of finance in Gov. Mary Fallin’s cabinet. “But all signs point to our economy continuing to outperform other states in our region and the nation as a whole.”

He continued, “A big reason for this has been the mini-boom in the oilfields, which has generated economic activity throughout our economy and contributed to our growing manufacturing base. We’ve had a vigorous recovery so far and collections to the General Revenue Fund have exceeded the estimate for eight months in a row, while topping prior year collections for 20 consecutive months. So, the future looks bright for Oklahoma, but we still have concerns over global economic uncertainty.”

Total collections to the General Revenue Fund through the first half of Fiscal Year 2012 were $2,698.2 million. This amount was $333.4 million and 14.1 percent above the first six months’ collections for FY-2011 and $239.1 million, or 9.7 percent above the total estimate for the same period of FY-2012.  

In December, total collections for the General Revenue Fund were $542.4 million, an increase of $87.9 million from a year ago. The amount collected in December was $77.4 million more than projected.

“The news that December 2011 revenue collections beat official estimates is a great way to start the new year,” Gov. Fallin said. “Increased revenues, combined with Oklahoma’s job-growth rate—which ranks third in the nation—show that our pro-growth policies are paying off.

“Despite the good news, though, we are continuing a steady climb out of a national recession that means we can expect a flat budget for the next fiscal year. As we move forward, we should continue to pursue policies that save taxpayer dollars.”

All major categories of revenue collections were up by double digits in Oklahoma in December, except sales taxes, which saw an increase in growth of 5.7 percent over the same month last year, while coming in 0.4 percent below the estimate. The collections covered actual and estimated sales for the last 15 days of November and the first 15 days of December.

“More Oklahomans had jobs this Christmas than in 2010, but the sales tax figures for the first part of the holiday shopping period indicate our citizens were prudent in their spending, just as we need to be in state government as we move to modernize our agencies and systems for delivering services,” Doerflinger said. “We still face a difficult task in building a budget for the upcoming legislative session.”

General Revenue Fund collections for the major tax categories in December were:

Income taxes – The total collected from individual and corporate income taxes in the month of December was $262.5 million for the FY-2012 General Revenue Fund, which was $58.6 million or 28.8 percent more than prior year collections and $53.4 million or 25.5 percent above the estimate. 

Individual income tax receipts of $207.8 million were $34.9 million and 20.2 percent above the prior year and $17.4 million or 9.1 percent above the estimate.

Corporate tax collections contributed $54.7 million to the General Revenue Fund for the month, which was $23.7 million or 76.6 percent above December 2010 collections and $36 million or 192.3 percent above the estimate.  

The unusually high corporate collections are a result of one-time estimated payments from the oil and gas industry.  Without these payments, monthly corporate collections would have been approximately 43.9 percent above the estimate.

Sales tax — Sales tax collections produced $153.5million for the General Revenue Fund, $8.3 million or 5.7 percent more than the prior year and $564,713 or 0.4 percent below the estimate. 
Gross production tax – Total gross production tax collections from natural gas and oil for the month were $54.7 million.  This total was $20.2 million and 58.6 percent above collections for December of the prior year and $24.4 million and 80.6 percent above the estimate. 

December tax collections from natural gas accounted for $26.2 million in General Revenue Fund receipts, which was $6.8 million or 35 percent above the prior year and $4.1 million or 13.4 percent below the estimate. 

Gross production oil tax collections to the General Revenue Fund for December were $28.5 million.  This amount is $13.4 million or 88.9 percent above prior year collections for the month.  No collections were expected to be deposited into the General Revenue Fund from this source in the current fiscal year until February. 

The first $150 million in oil revenue is earmarked–primarily to three education funds.  Collections hit that benchmark earlier than expected, allowing gross production oil tax revenue to flow into the General Revenue Fund. 

Motor vehicle taxes — This tax source produced $19.4 million, which was $5.8 million or 42.5 percent above the prior year and $4.5 million or 29.8 percent above the estimate.

Other Revenue — Other revenue produced $52.3 million in December. This was $5 million or 8.7 percent below the prior year and $4.3 million or 7.6 percent below the estimate.