Tax Revenues Down Despite State Reopening In May

Friday, June 5th 2020, 5:16 pm
By: Aaron Brilbeck

The state's gross receipts are in for the month of May. 

That’s the amount of tax money the state brought in, and it paints a dark picture of the state's overall economy.

The state’s gross receipts are the tax revenues Oklahoma brings in from everything from income tax to sales tax to the tax on oil and natural gas. They’re also are a barometer for the direction the economy is going, and the numbers don’t look good. 

Overall, May tax collections are down 14% from May of last year. In real money, that’s more than $150 million.

“Sales taxes are down quite a bit. Gross production tax are down substantially; 59%, or $55 million,” said state Treasurer Randy McDaniel.

The numbers indicate Oklahomans are slowly returning to work, but holding on to the money they’re earning. 

“There are a few bright spots. Income tax came in a little bit stronger and as you would also expect, use tax, which is the online purchases, has increased slightly,” McDaniel said. “I think people are conserving a little bit more, spending less. Even if their situation hasn’t changed. But clearly there’s a lot of people who have had a change in their life and they’re trying to get back on their feet.”

Overall, though, the treasurer said he doesn’t expect a long-term recession to follow the pandemic and he thinks Oklahoma will weather this storm.

“Oklahomans are strong people by nature, and I’m optimistic and confident that as we look to the future we’re going to rebound,” he said.