General Revenue Fund collections for the state of Oklahoma in March exceeded the estimate for the first time since July 2015.
According to a new release, March General Revenue Fund collections were $394.2 million, which was $3.1 million, or 0.8 percent above the official estimate, upon which the Fiscal Year 2016 appropriated state budget was based.
The $394.2 million was $30.1 million, or 7.1 percent, below last year's year amount..
The General Revenue Fund is the key indicator of state government’s fiscal status and the predominant funding source for the annual appropriated state budget. The funds in the GRF collections are what's left over 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. Total GRF collections for the first nine months of FY 2016 were $3.7 billion, which is $323.8 million, or 8 percent, below the official estimate and $386.6 million, or 9.4 percent, below prior year collections.
“We were due a decent month after so many months of missing the estimate. No one should get too excited because we are by no means out of the woods, but this is certainly a welcome development,” said Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology Preston L. Doerflinger.
Sustained low oil prices have caused monthly GRF collections to miss the estimate in all but one month in FY 2016, prompting a revenue failure declaration in December that was deepened two months later.
“Beating the estimate is a huge help that reinforces the belief that there will be no further deepening of the midyear cuts to the General Revenue Fund. It can’t be ruled out entirely, but at this point it is extremely unlikely,” Doerflinger said.
Doerflinger is director of OMES, which issues the monthly GRF reports.
Major tax categories in March contributed the following amounts to the GRF:
Total income tax collections of $152.4 million were $19.2 million, or 14.4 percent, above the estimate and $30.5 million, or 16.7 percent, below the prior year.
Individual income tax collections of $108.4 million were $24.7 million, or 29.5 percent, above the estimate and $13.6 million, or 11.2 percent, below the prior year.
Corporate income tax collections of $44 million were $5.4 million, or 11 percent, below the estimate and $16.9 million, or 27.8 percent, below the prior year.
Sales tax collections of $154.4 million were $9.6 million, or 5.9 percent, below the estimate and $3.6 million, or 2.4 percent, above the prior year.
Gross production tax collections of $6.7 million were $11.4 million, or 63.1 percent, below the estimate and $6.7 million, or 49.9 percent, below the prior year.
Natural gas collections of $6.1 million were $1.3 million, or 26.6 percent, above the estimate and $6.1 million above the prior year. No natural gas collections were distributed to the GRF for this period last year as 2015 collections were lower than the previous year and entirely consumed by refunds.
Oil collections of $596,498 were $12.7 million, or 95.5 percent, below the estimate and $12.8 million, or 95.5 percent, below the prior year.
Motor vehicle tax collections of $17.5 million were $43,136, or 0.2 percent, above the estimate and $2 million, or 13.1 percent, above the prior year.
Other revenue collections of $63.2 million were $4.9 million, or 8.4 percent, above the estimate and $1.5 million, or 2.4 percent, above the prior year.