Higher natural gas prices give state revenue boost

Tuesday, July 15th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Oklahoma City-AP) -- Oklahoma's state budget shortfall is getting some help from rising natural gas prices, but not enough to offset a continuing shortfall.

State finance officials said today that general revenue is down by 5.1%. However, the state will get an additional $5-million from the gross production tax on natural gas because of higher prices the past two months.

General revenue is made up primarily of taxes on income, sales, motor vehicles and gross production.

The state collected nearly $227-million fewer dollars during fiscal year 2003 than during 2002. Collections were more than $539-million below official estimates.

The budget crunch led state finance official to cut more than $352-million in funding to state agencies, including education, health and prisons.