Oklahoma's tax collections slowed in August

Lower gross production tax receipts on oil and natural gas are the main factor for the slowdown in Oklahoma's tax collections in August, state finance officials say. But sales tax collections remain strong.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Published: September 12, 2012

Tax collections to the state's main operating fund slowed in August, despite strong sales tax collections, state finance officials said Wednesday.

Overall collections to the state's general revenue fund have been diminished by low energy prices in the final months of the last fiscal year, plus refunds made to energy companies during the first two months of this fiscal year, said Preston Doerflinger, who serves as finance secretary on Gov. Mary Fallin's Cabinet.

Total collections to the general revenue fund for August were $386.4 million, down $28.4 million, or 6.8 percent, from the same month a year. The amount was $17 million, or 4.2 percent, lower than the estimate.

It was only the third time since April 2010, that monthly general revenue fund collections were below both prior year receipts and the estimate used by legislators to craft this fiscal year's budget.

Despite the lull in personal income and oil and natural gas tax receipts, total collections for July and August were still above the estimate by 0.4 percent, finance officials said.

Sales tax collections beat the estimate by 4.1 percent in July and by 6.3 percent in August. Sales tax receipts in August also exceeded the amount collected last year by 12.1 percent, Doerflinger said.


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