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Oklahoma revenue collections for November lower than expected


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ State finance officials have to borrow from December revenue collections to make up for lower than expected November revenues.

Tax revenue in November was $43.2 million, or 12% below estimates, forcing finance officials to siphon money from December collections and the cash flow reserve fund to avoid more budget cuts.

The state's collections were 0.1% below November 2001.

Oklahoma collected $317 million in revenue last month, but $348.5 million is needed for state agency budgets.

``This tells us the recovery in revenues we have been awaiting has yet to arrive,'' said Alison Fraser, deputy director of the Office of State Finance.

``We had to use $6.1 million of December's collections to date and $27 million from the cash flow reserve fund in order to make allocations without additional cuts. While we had anticipated having to make such a move this month, we did not expect to have to dip so deeply into the cash flow reserve fund.''

Only the gross production tax on natural gas came in higher than the monthly estimate. The tax on natural gas accounted for $26 million in general revenue funds, which was $10.9 million, or 71.9 percent, above last year and $3.3 million, or 14.4%, above the estimate.

Income tax, sales tax and motor vehicle taxes were well below the estimate, finance officials said.

Finance officials will present information Dec. 20 to the Board of Equalization that will be used to estimate next year's revenue and create a budget.

Finance officials have implemented budget cuts of 9.02% from this month until June 30, the end of fiscal 2003.
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