State Revenue Collection Hits Six-Year Low

Monday, June 6th 2016, 7:18 pm

Even with gas and oil prices slowly inching up, tax revenue remains lower than expected. 

And when the state budget is planned based on projected revenues, there can be serious problems when those numbers are off.

Across the board, the numbers are not good. Collections for May were at a six-year low.  

"Income tax. Sales tax. Gross production tax especially and in motor vehicle tax,” said Oklahoma State Treasurer’s Office spokesman Tim Allen. “And so every revenue stream is down."

According to the state treasurer's office, way down. 

Overall tax collections for the month of May are $782.5 million. 

That's down $61.1 million dollars from what was collected at this time last year. 

It's 7.2 percent decrease, and not an indication of a strong economy. 

"What they indicate is that the Oklahoma economy is continuing to contract. It's continuing to get smaller," Allen said.

Lawmakers fear that could have an impact on the budget they passed last month; a budget already filled with cuts to services.

"I think there's a potential if they keep rolling in like this in future months that you're looking at additional cuts to those core services," said Rep. Scott Inman (D) House Minority Leader.

While lawmakers did do away with some tax credits, they did not roll back an income tax break that went into effect in January; they did not pass a cigarette tax; and they did not agree to accept Obamacare dollars leaving hundreds of millions of dollars on the table. 

"At the end of the day many of the decisions that our leaders have made in the past five or six years have put us in this very spot," Inman said.

The governor still has not accepted or vetoed the proposed budget.


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