OKLAHOMA CITY — General Revenue Fund collections in August were $413.7 million and came in 1.9 percent higher when compared with the monthly estimate. However, collections to the GRF were $843,000, or 0.2 percent, below prior year collections for August. For the first two months of the fiscal year, total collections to the GRF were $7.4 million, or 0.9 percent, above the estimate and $39 million, or 5 percent, more than was collected through August of 2016.
Individual income tax receipts were essentially flat for August and still below 2017 estimates, a warning sign against unfounded optimism.
“Having collections come in above the estimate is always a good thing, but I would urge caution to anyone who thinks this recovery will be enough to overcome our current budget challenges. We are two months into FY 2018 and while technically we came in above estimates, we are still having to borrow money for cash flow,” said Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology Preston L. Doerflinger.
“With Special Session this month I want to add an additional note of urgency and encourage the Legislature to take the opportunity before them to pass legislation that puts more recurring revenue on the table and reduces our reliance on one-time funds. This is a unique opportunity to change the path that we are headed down for FY 2019. I hope they seize it.”
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.
Doerflinger is director of OMES, which issues the monthly GRF reports.
Major tax categories in August contributed the following amounts to the GRF:
* Total income tax collections of $149.4 million were $24.7 million, or 19.9 percent, above the estimate and $824,000, or 0.5 percent, below the prior year.
Individual income tax collections of $147.5 million were $25 million, or 20.4 percent, above the estimate and $10,900, or essentially flat, from prior year collections.
Corporate income tax collections of $1.8 million were $233,000, or 11.2 percent, below the estimate and $813,000, or 30.7 percent, below prior year collections.
* Sales tax collections of $172.3 million were $2.2 million, or 1.3 percent, above the estimate and $20 million, or 13.1 percent, above the prior year.
* Gross production tax collections of $19.9 million were $3.5 million, or 21.3 percent, above the estimate and $11.2 million, or 127.5 percent, above the prior year.
Natural gas collections of $17.3 million were $2.8 million, or 19.3 percent, above the estimate and $10.1 million, or 138.3 percent, above the prior year.
Oil collections of $2.6 million were $686,000, or 36.2 percent, above the estimate and $1.1 million, or 74.2 percent, above the prior year.
* Motor vehicle tax collections of $17.5 million were $342,000, or 1.9 percent, below the estimate and $339,000, or 1.9 percent, below the prior year.
* Other revenue collections of $54.6 million were $22.6 million, or 29.3 percent, below the estimate and $30.8 million, or 36.1 percent, below the prior year.