Increased corporate tax collections and a stabilizing natural gas market helped Oklahoma's revenue tax collections' record growth in March, although consumers may be showing signs they are wary of the national economic climate, state Treasurer Ken Miller said Wednesday.
After falling far below prior year collections each month for more than a year, gross production tax collections in March were almost $67 million, or near where they were during March last year, Miller said.
“The natural gas market has stabilized somewhat and prices have risen by about 30 percent from their low,” Miller said. “We are seeing those improved market conditions reflected in our collections.”
Gross income tax collections showed growth of more than 7 percent during the month, with strong corporate collections.
The Oklahoma Tax Commission recorded a 6 percent increase in the number of corporations filing estimated payments in March and corporate tax collections were up by almost 32 percent compared with last year, he said.
Total revenue collections for the month were $944.6 million, up $24 million, or 2.6 percent, compared with last March, Miller said. Total revenue collections are considered a reflection of the performance of the state's economy.
Sales tax receipts produced slightly less revenue than during last March, down by $5.3 million, or 1.6 percent, Miller said. Motor vehicle tax collections were down $6.9 million, or 11.2 percent compared with last March.
“With less purchasing of motor vehicles and slightly lower consumer spending as measured by sales tax collections, it could be that we are beginning to see the psychological impact of Washington's inability to reach consensus on getting government spending under control in a strategic way,” Miller said.