Oklahoma tax revenue gets boost from Christmas shoppers

A record amount of state sales tax was collected in December, Oklahoma officials say.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Modified: January 15, 2013 at 6:45 pm •  Published: January 16, 2013
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Because of increased drilling and relatively high oil prices last year, the gross production tax on oil came in significantly above estimates.

The threshold for this fiscal year was reached in December. The general revenue fund received about $5.4 million in oil gross production taxes last month.

“We expect energy collections to pick up in the months ahead, especially from oil,” he said.

Doerflinger, who also is director of the state Office of Management and Enterprise Services, said he's concerned the threat of economic trouble nationally, which could have an adverse effect on Oklahoma, remains.

While Congress and President Barack Obama reached a deal earlier this month to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” which prevented state and federal tax increases this year for the majority of Oklahomans, they refused “to make the hard choices on runaway spending,” Doerflinger said.

Until spending cuts are addressed, there will always be a risk of another recession, he said.

“I worry that their dillydallying eventually will take its toll on the psyche of businesses and individuals who want to invest in our economy to keep our state and country moving forward,” he said.

If a new deal isn't reached in March, the “fiscal cliff,” or sequestration, could result in Oklahoma losing $137 million in direct federal funding as a result of automatic, governmentwide spending cuts.

Estimates are that Oklahoma, which has five military installations, could lose up to 20,000 jobs, which would include 8,000 military and aerospace-related positions.

“Decisions still pending in D.C. also could harm our important defense and aerospace industries, as well as complicate the state budget process,” Doerflinger said.

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