November General Revenue collections outpace last year’s by 22.6 percent – oil revenue surges
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Published: 14-Dec-2011

Collections to the state’s General Revenue Fund picked up pace in November, topping the collection rate for the same month a year ago by a whopping 22.6 percent, State Finance Director Preston Doerflinger announced Tuesday (December 13).

“It was the most robust month of the year for General Revenue Fund collections in terms of the percentage of revenue growth over the same month a year ago,” Doerflinger said as he released the monthly revenue report from the Office of State Finance (OSF).

“We got a bonanza from gross production taxes on oil, but collections also were strong across all major tax categories,” he said. “This is evidence that Oklahoma’s recovery from the recession is ongoing as our economy continues to outperform those of most other states and the nation as a whole.”

Total collections to the General Revenue Fund through the first five months of Fiscal Year 2012 were $2,155.8 million. This amount was $245.5 million and 12.9 percent above the first five months’ collections for FY 2011 and $161.7 million, or 8.1 percent above, the total estimate for the same period of FY 2012.

Total collections for the General Revenue Fund in November were $424 million.  This amount was $78.1 million and 22.6 percent above collections for the same month in 2010 and $64.6 million or 18 percent above the monthly estimate for 2011.

Personal income tax collections outpaced last year’s receipts by 21.2 percent, while beating the estimate by 23.6 percent.  Sales tax receipts, based on October sales, were up 9.1 percent over a year ago and were 2.5 percent higher than the estimate. Motor vehicle taxes were up 22.9 percent from last year and surpassed the estimate by 5.7 percent.

“As we approach the Christmas and holiday season, another double-digit month of revenue growth gives us something extra to celebrate,” Gov. Mary Fallin said. “Helped by Oklahoma’s pro-growth and pro-jobs policies, our economy is definitely headed in the right direction.

“Despite the revenue increase, however, the state is still recovering from the current recession, and we expect a flat budget for 2012.  As such, it remains important for agencies to continue to tighten their belts and to pursue reforms and efficiencies that preserve revenue and save taxpayer dollars.”

The GRF received $34.8 million in oil tax revenue in November, compared to zero a year ago as the state continued to get an economic lift from increased drilling in the oil patch, propelled by strong prices for crude and improved drilling techniques.

“A revitalized energy industry produces good paying jobs and spurs commerce across the state,” Doerflinger said. “It’s been vital to the state’s steady economic recovery.

“We will have to fill huge budget gaps next year that are tied to the necessity of using one-time funds to balance the current budget.  We also must factor in the anticipated loss of some $50 million as the moratorium on energy tax rebates expires.

“Overall, things are much more positive than they were in 2009 and 2010, however. Oklahoma consumers certainly have reason to be more optimistic as they prepare for Christmas and the New Year than they have in the recent years.”

Doerflinger said that even if the General Revenue Fund had not gotten the big boost from oil taxes in November, total collections would still have exceeded last year’s monthly receipts by 12.5 percent and the estimate by 8.3 percent.

“We’re still lagging behind the estimate on gross production taxes on natural gas as prices for that commodity remain somewhat depressed,” he said. “Collections in this area could improve as the cold winter months arrive.”

General Revenue Fund collections for the major tax categories in November were:

Income taxes – The total collected from individual and corporate income taxes in the month of November was $158.8 million for the FY-2012 General Revenue Fund, which was $26.7 million or 20.3 percent more than prior year collections and $24.4 million or 18.2 percent above the estimate.

Individual income tax receipts of $158.8 million were $27.7 million and 21.2 percent above the prior year and $30.3 million or 23.6 percent above the estimate.

No Corporate tax collections were deposited into the General Revenue Fund for the month because total refunds depleted all collections.

Sales tax -- Sales tax collections produced $147.1 million for the General Revenue Fund, $12.3 million or 9.1 percent more than the prior year and $3.5 million or 2.5 percent above the estimate.

Gross production tax – Total gross production tax collections from natural gas and oil for the month were $59 million.  This total was $39 million and 194.2 percent above collections for November of the prior year and $40.1 million and 211.7 percent above the estimate. 

November taxes on natural gas accounted for $24.2 million in General Revenue Fund receipts, which was $4.2 million or 20.7 percent above the prior year and $5.3 million or 27.9 percent below the estimate. 

Gross production oil tax collections to the General Revenue Fund for November were $34.8 million.  No collections were deposited into the General Revenue Fund from this source in November of last year and none were estimated to be received in the current fiscal year until February. 

The first $150 million in oil revenue is earmarked to three education funds.  Collections hit that benchmark two months early in October, when a deposit of $7.6 million was made into the General Revenue Fund. 

Motor vehicle taxes -- This tax source produced $16.2 million, which was $3 million or 22.9 percent above the prior year and $872,948 or 5.7 percent above the estimate.

Other Revenue -- Other revenue produced $42.9 million in November. This was $2.9 million or 6.4 percent below the prior year and $4.3 million or 9.2 percent below the estimate. 

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