Early estimate shows $214M boost in Okla. revenue

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 19, 2012 at 6:09 pm •  Published: December 19, 2012
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Revenue projections also show an increase in personal income tax collections of $121 million, or 6 percent, and a hike in corporate income tax collections of $164 million, or 51 percent. Doerflinger said part of the reason for the increase in income tax collections is that the projections are based on most Oklahomans seeing an increase in their state taxes after Jan. 1 because of a lower allowable standard deduction than the one currently in place under the Bush-era tax cuts.

"Because we are required to base projections on existing law, estimates the Equalization Board will consider on Thursday are linked to the tax structure that would exist if the president and Congress go over the fiscal cliff," Doerflinger said.

Incoming House Speaker T.W. Shannon said the projected increase in state revenue is a good sign of Oklahoma's strong economy, but he said the looming fiscal cliff and its potential impact on the state's economy is a "real concern."

"This legislative session, I will require all state agencies prepare for reductions in federal spending," Shannon, R-Lawton, said in a statement. "It needs to be a serious goal this legislative session that Oklahoma lessens its reliance on the federal government."

Finance officials said current projections for the remainder of the current fiscal year would result in a $66 million deposit into the state's Rainy Day Fund, pushing the fund balance to more than $600 million for the first time in state history. The fund, which includes any year-end surplus from the state's General Revenue Fund, currently has a balance of $577.5 million.

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Sean Murphy can be reached at www.twitter.com/apseanmurphy

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