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Revised estimates show more money for Oklahoma's budget

Oklahoma legislators should have nearly $40 million more to appropriate than was thought a month ago. Official figures will be released next week.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Modified: February 14, 2013 at 9:05 pm •  Published: February 15, 2013

Altogether, agencies have made budget requests totaling an increase of about $1.4 billion for the 2014 fiscal year.

Gov. Mary Fallin also is seeking to knock a quarter percent off the state's highest personal income tax rate, dropping it from 5.25 percent to 5 percent. The cut would cost the state about $40 million in revenue for the 2014 fiscal year and about $120 million in future years when fully implemented.

“We're confident that Tuesday's certification will bring markedly more growth revenue for next year's budget than the $178 million in growth we used to build the governor's budget,” said Doerflinger, who also serves as the governor's chief budget negotiator. “The big picture continues to look strong as overall revenues have continued to grow.”

The current fiscal year should finish out strong, said Reece Womack, the Tax Commission's economist who prepared the estimate. Better-than-expected collections of state income taxes and the gross production tax on oil will result in an additional $13 million for the state's coffers since the December estimate.

As a result, $77.4 million instead of $66.4 million will come in above estimates and will be deposited, according to state law, in the Rainy Day Fund, the state's savings account.