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Okla. treasurer: Economic growth continues, slows

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 3, 2013 at 6:31 pm •  Published: January 3, 2013

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma's economy is still improving, but state revenue increases weren't as strong last month or in 2012 as they were a year earlier, state Treasurer Ken Miller said Thursday.

Overall state revenue collections in December exceeded those of December 2011 by 1.5 percent, marking the eighth time in 2012 in which monthly collections outpaced those from the prior year, according to figures released by the treasurer's office.

In December 2011, collections were up 11.1 percent from the previous year, in part because motor vehicle sales soared amid pent-up demand from the recession, Miller said in a conference call from Naples, Fla.

"I think it can be best explained by looking back at the previous December and saying that month was exceptionally strong," said Miller, who is on vacation but called reporters to discuss the state's revenue picture.

Collections throughout 2012 were up 3.8 percent over 2011, Miller said. A year earlier, collections were up 9.6 percent from 2010.

Miller noted December sales tax collections, which reflect sales from mid-November to mid-December, were nearly 6 percent higher than those during the previous holiday season.

Gross income tax collections, which include corporate and personal income taxes, increased about 1.6 percent in December, while sales tax collections last month outpaced those of the prior year by 5.9 percent.

Those increases were offset by declines in both the gross production taxes on oil and natural gas, which dropped 15.7 percent from December 2011, and a 12.4 percent dip in motor vehicle tax collections last month. Vehicle sales in December 2011 were unusually high, Miller said.

Overall gross revenue collections from 2012 totaled $11.1 billion, an increase of $405 million or 3.8 percent, over collections from 2011. Personal and corporate income tax collections, sales taxes and motor vehicle taxes all increased, while oil and gas gross production tax collections declined.

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