The Norman Transcript

October 15, 2013

Finance official warns of possible ‘flat budgets’


The Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma’s top finance official warned state agency directors Monday to prepare for the possibility of flat budgets next fiscal year after a report showing collections this quarter to the state’s general fund trail those from the same time last year.

Oklahoma’s Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger released figures that show collections to the state’s main operating fund for the first three months of the fiscal year were down more than 4 percent compared to the same quarter last year. Collections also were down 6.6 percent in September compared to the same month in the previous year.

“Ample time remains for collections to pick up, but it’s looking like the state may see tighter revenues than in recent years,” Doerflinger said in a statement. “Agencies should continue to keep their belts tight, find efficiencies and prepare for potentially flat budgets.”

Doerflinger attributed some of the decline to market uncertainty caused by the partial shutdown of the federal government that began at the beginning of this month, as well as an expected “softening” of Oklahoma’s economy.

— AP