Oklahoma's treasurer is hoping this week's ice storm doesn't cause a setback in state revenue collections, which for November showed marginal improvement from the previous month. "We hope the ice storms won't significantly curtail retail spending in the coming days and weeks and our economy will pick up strength,” state Treasurer Scott Meacham said Tuesday in a statement. It appears the growth of Oklahoma's economy has slowed, he said. "Compared to the previous month, November's collections have improved — but only slightly,” Meacham said.
Collections fail to meet expectationsRevenue collections for November failed to meet collections from the same month a year ago or the state's estimate, he said. Net income tax and gross production collections failed to meet the estimate, while sales tax collections in November were equal to the estimate. Sales tax revenues for October dipped below the previous year, causing Meacham to speculate earlier it could be caused by some Hispanics leaving the state because of Oklahoma's new immigration law. Preliminary reports show general revenue fund collections were $403.6 million for November, which is $27.4 million, or 6.4 percent, below the same month a year ago and $11.4 million, or 2.7 percent, below the estimate for the same period. In October, revenue collections fell short of the estimate and prior year collections in three of the four major tax categories. Collections that month missed the estimate by $16.6 million, or 3.6 percent. For the first five months of the fiscal year, collections total $2.3 billion, according to the treasurer's office. That is $27.4 million, or 1.2 percent, below the same period of the prior year, but $67.2 million, or 3 percent, above the estimate.