NORMAN — Oklahoma’s economy reached a number of milestones as it showed expansion in January, State Treasurer Ken Miller said Tuesday as he released the state’s monthly gross receipts to the treasury report.
“For the first time in Oklahoma history, January gross receipts exceeded $1 billion,” Miller said. “Income tax withholding set an all-time record, as did total sales tax collections.”
Miller said the record collections reflect economic recovery and are not related to increased tax rates that have been cut over the past several years.
“This month’s treasury report illustrates that Oklahoma’s economy is doing well with individual earnings and spending up more than ever before,” he said.
Total gross collections topped $1.009 billion for the month. Income tax withholding in January was $268 million. The previous withholding record was $246.3 million, set in January 2012. Gross sales tax collections this month were $365.3 million. The previous sales tax record was $364.9 million, set in December.
January receipts from all sources grew by 1.4 percent from the prior year, and collections for the past 12 months were up by 3.2 percent. Gross production collections in January fell by 15.6 percent from the prior year.
“The state economy is showing its resilience, even as collections from the production of oil and natural gas continue to underperform,” he said.
Collections from the past 12 months are $1.74 billion higher than when gross receipts bottomed out in February 2010. More than 90 percent of the revenue lost from the peak of the expansion cycle in December 2008 has now been recovered.
Other positive signs: Miller said more positive economic news can be found in the most recent unemployment figures, which set Oklahoma’s December unemployment rate at 5.1 percent. That compares to a national rate of 7.9 percent. One year ago, the state’s unemployment rate was 6.3 percent.
The latest Business Conditions Index for Oklahoma report bodes well for the state’s economy. The January survey shows Oklahoma with a rating of 53.8, compared to 52.1 in December. Numbers above 50 indicate anticipated growth. According to the survey, Oklahoma has among the best performing economies in the region.