The Norman Transcript

Breaking News

State/Region

January 16, 2013

Holiday shopping helps boost tax revenues

OKLAHOMA CITY — A brisk holiday shopping season helped boost Oklahoma’s sales tax receipts last month to an all-time monthly high, but overall collections to the state’s general fund dipped, mostly due to tax rebates to energy companies and lower oil and natural gas prices, state finance officials said Tuesday.

Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger said total collections to the general fund in December were $528.9 million, down 2.5 percent from December 2011. Overall receipts to the general fund for the first six months of the current fiscal year totaled $2.6 billion, a 1.6 percent drop from the first six months of Fiscal Year 2012.

But Doerflinger said those slight declines are not due to economic factors, but rather tax rebates offered to oil and gas companies and lower energy prices.

Total tax collections on oil and gas production last month were $8.3 million, a nearly 85 percent decrease from December 2011. For the first six months of the fiscal year, oil and natural gas tax collections have plummeted nearly $231 million, or 94 percent, from the same time a year ago, again due almost entirely to the generous rebates the state offers to energy companies.

The tax rebates that apply to most deep and horizontal wells were suspended for two years as lawmakers scrambled to fill a budget hole in 2010. Now the credits have come back on line and the state also is paying back those that were suspended for two years.

But Doerflinger said energy tax collections are expected to pick up in coming months, especially from oil, now that the $150 million threshold has been reached on state oil revenue that is earmarked specifically for education.

“Another is the likelihood of increased drilling activity in the months ahead, based on plans of energy companies,” he said. “The latest rotary rig count from Baker Hughes shows an increase of four rigs from the previous week to 185.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State/Region
  • Oklahoma City Memorial Bombing museum gets tech boost

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A memorial and museum built to remember the worst act of domestic terrorism on American soil is in the midst of a $7 million upgrade so it can better portray how different the world was when Timothy McVeigh blew up the ...

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • U.S. puts off pipeline decision

    WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is putting off its decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline, likely until after the November elections, by extending its review of the controversial project indefinitely....

    April 19, 2014

  • Sonic plans expansion

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma-based Sonic Corp. plans to open 1,000 new drive-in restaurants nationwide over the next 10 years, expanding the chain by about 30 percent, the company said....

    April 19, 2014

  • Fallin disappointed SBAdenied loans

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Gov. Mary Fallin said Thursday she is disappointed that a federal agency denied a request for loans to businesses in two Oklahoma towns affected by an emergency bridge closure....

    April 18, 2014

  • Oklahoma Senate approves limits on abortion drug

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Senate voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to further restrict the use of abortion-inducing drugs in Oklahoma in a bill written in direct response to a recent state Supreme Court decision....

    April 16, 2014

  • March Oklahoma revenue misses mark by 9.1 percent

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma’s finance secretary says collections by the general revenue fund fell 9.1 percent below the official estimate in March....

    April 16, 2014

  • University of Tulsa researchers find new species

    TULSA — A salamander first discovered by a University of Tulsa doctoral student in 2011 is being hailed as a new species in an international journal for animal taxonomy....

    April 16, 2014

  • Oklahoma House passes state trooper pay raise bill

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers could get their first pay raise in seven years under a plan given final legislative approval Tuesday, though it remains unclear whether money will be available in the overall state budget to ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Barresi decries plan to eliminate Okla. tests

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma State Superintendent Janet Barresi is raising concern about a bill before the Legislature that would eliminate state testing in social studies and geography....

    April 16, 2014

  • State-mandated minimum wage draws ire across state

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Organizers seeking a higher minimum wage in Oklahoma are upset with Gov. Mary Fallin’s decision to sign a bill that prohibits cities in the state from establishing mandatory minimum wage or vacation and sick-day ...

    April 16, 2014