State Revenue Is Down For November; What That Could Mean For 2020

Thursday, December 12th 2019, 6:28 pm
By: Aaron Brilbeck

The state’s tax revenue numbers are in for November, and they could give us a glimpse of where Oklahoma’s economy is headed in 2020.

Overall, the state brought in $467.1 million in taxes which is down about 7% from last year at this time.

So far, the state has seen a lot of layoffs in the energy industry. Halliburton announced more than 800 layoffs this month in El Reno. That’s on top of layoffs at Gulfport, Devon and Sandridge in recent months.

Those layoffs are having an impact on the state's gross production revenue, that’s the tax on oil and natural gas production.

“Gross production is struggling right now. We have significantly depressed rig count over last year. The production itself is holding pretty steady but we expect that lag to show up pretty soon,” said OMES Deputy Budget Director Shelly Paulk.

In November, the state saw gross production tax collections of $57.9 million. That’s down 26.7%.

Oil tax collections are down 6% from last year and natural gas tax collections are down 54% from last year.

“The energy sector is struggling a little on the natural gas side. We know that price is not expected to improve a lot in the upcoming year and so that’s, we hope that the oil prices coming up a little will help us with that,” Paulk said.

Employment remains strong with total income tax collections of $174.4 million. That’s up 48% over last year, but these numbers may not reflect all of the recent layoffs. Still, that appears to be on Oklahomans' minds as they spend less. 

Sales tax collections hit only $157.1 million, which is down 16.3% from last year.

“Sometimes, it’s an indicator that people are a little bit anxious about what’s happening in the future,” Paulk said.

For the year, the state is up about 2% in tax collections.