Clean slate provides cushion as state revenue collections top estimate
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Published: 17-Dec-2008

From CapitolBeatOK Staff Report

If not for revenue collected by the Clean Slate tax amnesty program, November state tax collections would have dropped below the monthly estimate, State Treasurer Scott Meacham says. However, thanks to $19.5 million the tax amnesty program brought to the General Revenue Fund in November, total collections topped the prior year and the estimate, Meacham said.

Preliminary reports show General Revenue Fund collections totaled $455.4 million for the month of November. That amount is $51.8 million or 12.8 percent above the same month of the prior year; and, $8.2 million or 1.8 percent above the estimate for the same period.

A breakout of taxes collected through the Clean Slate '08 program shows it boosted revenue for the month with $16.1 million in personal income taxes, $1.6 million in corporate income taxes, $1.6 million in sales taxes and $236,000 in other revenue. The tax amnesty program ended November 14.

"The receipt of this additional revenue in November was very timely," Meacham said. Meacham said Clean Slate provided more than $51 million to the General Revenue Fund during September, October and November.

"This extra money will help provide an additional cushion if revenue collections drop during the coming months as effects of the nationwide recession are felt more here in Oklahoma," he said.

In an analysis sent to The City Sentinel, Meacham said sales tax collections remain strong. "Spending on taxable items in Oklahoma is up more than 14 percent from last November and more than four percent above what was estimated," he said. "These numbers don't include Black Friday sales tax receipts. It appears the state is in good shape heading into the holiday shopping season."

Additionally, in November, the treasurer's investment earnings totaled $14.4 million. This is $2.1 million or 12.8 percent below the same month one year ago and reflects the current low-interest rate environment.

For the first five months of the fiscal year, collections total $2.501 billion. That is $187.1 million or 8.1 percent above the same period of the prior year and $133.8 million or 5.7 percent above the estimate.

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