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January 3, 2013

Deal on fiscal cliff affects Oklahoma tax collections

(Continued)

OKLAHOMA CITY —

“We don’t expect total state revenues for appropriations to change markedly, but that will depend on a number of factors, including any changes in growth projections for various revenue sources,” Estus said.

State leaders, including Fallin, have raised concerns about the possible impact that cuts to federal spending would have on Oklahoma, particularly how defense spending cuts would affect the state’s five military installations. Those spending cuts, which were expected to start hitting the Pentagon and domestic agencies this week, have been delayed for two months.

Oklahoma Treasurer Ken Miller said if the defense spending cuts take effect, some studies have suggested Oklahoma could lose up to 20,000 jobs, including 4,000 military positions.

“This would be devastating to Oklahoma and can be avoided if Congress implements strategic rather than across-the-board spending cuts,” Miller said in a statement.

Oklahoma’s entire congressional delegation, except for U.S. Rep. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, voted in favor of the measure to avoid the fiscal cliff.

In a letter to his constituents after Tuesday’s vote, Lankford said while there were compelling reasons to approve the measure, he didn’t believe it did enough to slow the nation’s “mushrooming debt.”

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