The Norman Transcript

Editorials

June 12, 2014

Summer dip in revenue

NORMAN — June General Revenue Fund collection numbers will be an important barometer for state government. May revenue fell 5.3 percent short of the official estimate. If the trend continues and the state finishes the year more than 5 percent below estimates, automatic budget cuts will hit state agencies, just as they begin the new fiscal year.

Overall collections for the year that ends June 30 are down 4.8 percent. Oklahoma officials and those in other states say corporate income tax collections are down nationwide but they say there is no need to panic. They expect the revenue stream to level off in coming months.

Preston L. Doerflinger, Oklahoma’s secretary of finance, administration and information technology, said, “Corporate is always volatile, so no one should rush to conclusions or point fingers at businesses for following tax law.

The net annual growth in every other major category shows our economy is still strong and further underscores the noneconomic nature of the isolated revenue issues seen elsewhere.”

May’s General Revenue Fund collections of $449.5 million were $5.9 million, or 1.3 percent, below prior year collections and $25.3 million, or 5.3 percent, below the official estimate upon which the Fiscal Year 2014 appropriated state budget is based. FY 14 year-to-date GRF collections total $5 billion, which is $9.1 million, or 0.2 percent, below prior year collections and $251.8 million, or 4.8 percent, below the estimate.

With one month remaining in FY 14, combined sales, gross production and motor vehicle tax collections to the GRF are above prior year collections by $183.7 million. However, those gains have been largely offset by corporate income tax declines. YTD corporate income tax collections to the GRF total $246.4 million, which is $135.4 million, or 35.5 percent, below prior year collections and $151 million, or 38 percent, below the estimate.

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