OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Oklahoma's tax revenue continues to exceeds estimates and are on pace to produce a windfall that Gov. Brad Henry wants to tap for a variety of programs.
A strong economy in the fiscal year that began July 1 has produced revenue that is $193 million above estimates for this time of year, State Treasurer Scott Meacham said Tuesday.
After making a deposit to the state's Rainy Day reserve fund, Henry wants to use the surplus to repair the state's worst bridges, for high-tech research, to prop up the teacher retirement system and to create a $100 million fund to help recruit jobs to the state.
The Board of Equalization said last month surplus revenue could be as high as $346 million after a maximum deposit of $34.4 million is made to the Rainy Day fund. Henry has recommended and the state Senate has approved a plan to boost that maximum deposit.
Meacham said revenue collections in February totaled $314 million, $23.9 million or 8.2 percent above the prior year and $26.9 or 9.4 percent above the estimate.
``State revenue collections remain strong,'' Meacham said. ``February is typically our worst month for individual income tax collections due to the large number of refunds. However, collections were above the estimate.''
Net income tax collections produced $64.4 million, which was $8.5 million below the prior year and $8.6 million above the estimate. Meacham said the reduction from the prior year was due to reduced income tax rates and a growing trend toward electronic filing, creating faster tax refund processing.
Meacham said two other key revenue sources, the gross production tax on natural gas and sales taxes, also showed strength in February.
The state sales tax produced $108.6 million, $6.5 million above the prior year and $2.1 million above the estimate.
The gross production tax yielded $64.7 million, $15.2 million above the prior year and $300,000 above the estimate.
Motor vehicle taxes produced $18.3 million in February, $2.1 million above the prior year and $600,000 above the estimate.
Other revenue, including the treasurer's earnings on investments, produced $58 million in February, $8.5 million above the prior year and $15.4 million above the estimate. The treasurer's investment earnings produced $10.4 million last month.