Ok­la­homa tax rev­enues hit 12-month high

The Oklahoman - - FRONT PAGE - BY RANDY EL­LIS Staff Writer rel­[email protected]­la­homan.com

Bol­stered by an im­prov­ing econ­omy and in­creased oil­field ac­tiv­ity, the Ok­la­homa state trea­sury has taken in a record $12.8 bil­lion in gross tax re­ceipts over the last 12 months, State Trea­surer Ken Miller an­nounced Wed­nes­day.

Those col­lec­tions are $1.5 bil­lion, or 13.1 per­cent, more than col­lec­tions from the pre­vi­ous 12 months, he re­ported.

The pre­vi­ous record for a rolling 12-month pe­riod was $12.7 bil­lion set at the end of Oc­to­ber.

“The econ­omy con­tin­ues to pro­pel trea­sury col­lec­tions,” Miller said. “With 20 con­sec­u­tive months of growth in monthly gross re­ceipts and un­em­ploy­ment at its low­est in 17 years, Ok­la­homa is on track to fin­ish 2018 on a high note.”

Just be­cause the state has taken in $1.5 bil­lion more in rev­enue over the last 12 months, doesn’t mean the state Leg­is­la­ture will have that much ex­tra money to ap­pro­pri­ate to state agen­cies.

The Gen­eral Rev­enue Fund is the ma­jor source of fund­ing for most ap­pro­pri­a­tions, and it re­ceives less than half of the state’s gross tax re­ceipts.

The rest is paid out in re­bates and re­funds, re­mit­ted to cities and coun­ties and placed into off-the-top ear­marks to other state funds.

Still, the state rev­enue pic­ture is im­prov­ing.

The state took in $1 bil­lion in No­vem­ber, alone, buoyed by in­creased rev­enue from the gross pro­duc­tion tax on oil and nat­u­ral gas that surged more than 125 per­cent over the pre­vi­ous No­vem­ber.

The state col­lected $118.8 mil­lion from gross pro­duc­tion taxes on oil and nat­u­ral gas last month, an in­crease of $66.1 mil­lion from the amount

col­lected dur­ing the pre­vi­ous No­vem­ber.

Com­pared to Oc­to­ber re­ports, gross pro­duc­tion col­lec­tions were up by $16.7 mil­lion, or 16.4 per­cent.

Miller cau­tioned that No­vem­ber gross pro­duc­tion tax col­lec­tions re­flect oil­field ac­tiv­ity from two months ear­lier, in Septem­ber, when the price of West Texas In­ter­me­di­ate crude oil av­er­aged $70.23 per bar­rel.

No­vem­ber’s lower crude oil prices of about $55 per bar­rel will not be re­flected in state tax col­lec­tions un­til Jan­uary.

Other cat­e­gories of tax col­lec­tions also were up in No­vem­ber.

Sales tax col­lec­tions in­creased 6.7 per­cent over the pre­vi­ous No­vem­ber, while mo­tor ve­hi­cle tax col­lec­tion were up more than 11 per­cent and in­come tax col­lec­tions were up 0.3 per­cent.

Over­all, No­vem­ber’s $1 bil­lion in tax col­lec­tions were up $140.1 mil­lion, or 15.7 per­cent, from the pre­vi­ous No­vem­ber.

Tax hikes ap­proved by the Ok­la­homa Leg­is­la­ture ear­lier this year added $61.6 mil­lion, or 6 per­cent, to No­vem­ber’s tax col­lec­tions, the trea­surer’s of­fice said.

The largest por­tion, $37.8 mil­lion, came from the in­crease from 2 per­cent to 5 per­cent in the tax rate on oil and nat­u­ral gas gross pro­duc­tion, the trea­surer re­ported.

Higher tax rates on gaso­line and diesel fuel gen­er­ated $10.1 mil­lion, and the $1 per pack hike in cig­a­rette taxes added $13.6 mil­lion to No­vem­ber’s to­tal.

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