The Oklahoma Legislature got more bad financial news Tuesday.
State lawmakers will have $17.7 million less to spend next fiscal year than was projected when the governor developed her budget in December, according to revenue figures released Tuesday at the state Board of Equalization meeting.
That amount is $188.5 million less than the Legislature had to appropriate for the current fiscal year.
Citing the gloomy economic news, state House Democratic Leader Scott Inman on Tuesday urged Gov. Mary Fallin to shelve her tax cut plan.
“This just proves we need to be even more careful in how we allocate the taxpayers’ dollars,” said Inman, D-Del City. “It also demonstrates that to carve another $136 million out of the state budget for the governor’s proposed tax cut would be fiscally irresponsible. We have too many pressing demands.”
Fallin, however, said she plans to continue pushing for a 0.25 state income tax cut this year.
“I still support an income tax (cut) for the State of Oklahoma,” Fallin said, reiterating her position that a tax cut is needed to continue to attract jobs and that lower taxes would generate growth in the economy that could possibly more than offset the amount of revenue lost due to the cut.
Poor corporate income tax collections are to blame for the latest decline, said Preston Doerflinger, the governor’s secretary of finance.
“All major tax categories showed growth between the board’s December meeting and its February meeting except corporate income tax, which fell $45.7 million or 10.9 percent,” his office said in a prepared news release.