OKLAHOMA CITY — General Revenue Fund (GRF) collections in January missed the official monthly estimate by 3.4 percent and were 2.8 percent below the estimate for the first seven months of the fiscal year as sales tax receipts fell below projections and corporate income tax collections continued to show their volatility.
Although gross collections showed a slight improvement in January, as reported earlier this month by the State Treasurer, collections to the GRF still fell below the estimate after rebates, refunds and mandatory apportionments. Despite January historically being a good month for collections, GRF receipts nevertheless fell short this year.
“What these January numbers are showing us is that we are a ways from any significant recovery,” said Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology Preston L. Doerflinger.
“There will be little recovery to state coffers without an infusion of recurring revenue,” Doerflinger said. “The Legislature has a comprehensive proposal from the governor that can help lift us out of this hole and significantly improve GRF collections as our economic recovery gains momentum. The time for action is now.”
As state government’s main operating fund, the GRF is the key indicator of state government’s fiscal status and the predominant funding source for the annual appropriated state budget. GRF collections are revenues that remain for the appropriated state budget after rebates, refunds and mandatory apportionments. Gross collections, reported by the State Treasurer, are all revenues collected by the state before rebates, refunds and mandatory apportionments.
GRF collections in January totaled $505.1 million, which is $17.9 million, or 3.4 percent, below the official estimate upon which the fiscal year 2017 appropriated state budget was based and $2.5 million, or 0.5 percent, below prior year collections. Total GRF collections through the first seven months of FY 2017 are $2.9 billion, which is $83.9 million, or 2.8 percent, below the estimate and $211.5 million, or 6.8 percent, below prior year collections.
January’s collections mark the fourth consecutive month that corporate income collections were consumed by refunds, underscoring the volatility of the GRF tax source. Beginning in FY 14, there have been 13 months when corporate income tax collections have failed to provide any revenue to the GRF.
“You can’t rely on corporate income tax collections to provide stability,” Doerflinger said. “Again, the governor has proposed eliminating this volatility in a common sense move to add stability to budgeting and stimulate economic development.”
Doerflinger is director of OMES, which issues the monthly GRF reports.
Major tax categories in January contributed the following amounts to the GRF:
- Total income tax collections of $236.6 million were $2.4 million, or 1 percent, above the estimate and $2.9 million, or 1.3 percent, above the prior year.
Individual income tax collections of $236.6 million were $29.3 million, or 14.1 percent, above the estimate and $17.2 million, or 7.8 percent, above the prior year.
Corporate income tax collections were entirely consumed by refunds and contributed nothing to the General Revenue Fund. For the same month last year, $14.3 million was deposited into the GRF.
- Sales tax collections of $161.3 million were $10.7 million, or 6.2 percent, below the estimate and $3.3 million, or 2 percent, below the prior year.
- Gross production tax collections of $11.5 million were $1.2 million, or 9.4 percent, below the estimate and $4.3 million, or 59.3 percent, above the prior year.
Natural gas collections of $9.7 million were $2.4 million, or 19.9 percent, below the estimate and $2.9 million, or 43.7 percent, above the prior year.
Oil collections of $1.9 million were $1.2 million, or 184.8 percent, above the estimate and $1.4 million, or 265 percent, above the prior year.
- Motor vehicle tax collections of $19.5 million were $705,000, or 3.8 percent, above the estimate and $1.2 million, or 6.6 percent, above the prior year.
- Other revenue collections of $76.2 million were $9.1 million, or 10.6 percent, below the estimate and $7.5 million, or 9 percent, below the prior year.
Revenue tables can be viewed on the OMES website: https://www.ok.gov/OSF/News/January_2017_Financial_Report_Data_Tables.html.