The Edmond Sun

September 6, 2012

Treasurer cites mixed bag on revenue numbers

James Coburn
The Edmond Sun

OKLAHOMA CITY — Mixed signals in state revenue growth present a skewed picture of the economy, state Treasurer Ken Miller said Thursday.

Revenue receipts to the Oklahoma Treasury have declined for the third time in six months, Miller said. Gross energy tax collections have dropped for 10 of the past 12 months.

“What you have to be concerned about are any spill-over effects from the energy industry,” Miller said of observing employment and personal income. Otherwise, he presented a healthy report.

The state is seeing strong consumption numbers with double digit increases in sales tax collections. Oklahoma’s low jobless rate of 4.9 percent has helped strengthen consumer spending, Miller said. However, strong business and consumer spending has not been enough to offset the drop in gross energy receipts.

“Gross collections for August are almost 3 percent below August of last year,” Miller said. “Collections on oil and natural gas production are about 54 percent lower for the month, while sales tax collections are up by more than 10 percent.”

Gross production typically makes up 10 percent of the state’s budget as it has fluctuated between 9 percent and 14 percent during the last decade, Miller said. The August report sets gross collections at $819.55 million, down $23.31 million or 2.8 percent from August 2011.

The report’s three-month lag time does not reflect today’s higher price of gasoline and natural gas prices, Miller said. A strong boost in the manufacturing sector of the economy is tied to new oil wells drilled in southern Oklahoma, he added.

“Most indicators would seem to say Oklahoma is on the right path in a pretty healthy recovery,” Miller said. “But you still see these anomalies, so it’s a good thing that an economist has two hands, because with some of these numbers you kind of need both of them.”

Twelve-month collections:

• Gross revenue totals $10.97 billion during the September 2011-August 2012 period. That is $603.17 million or 5.8 percent more than collections from the previous 12-month period.

• Gross income taxes generated $3.87 billion for the period, reflecting an increase of $328.54 million or 9.3 percent from the prior 12 months.

• Personal income tax collections total $3.32 billion, up by $222.89 million or 7.2 percent from the prior 12 months. Corporate collections are $552.51 million for the period, an increase of $105.64 million or 23.6 percent over the previous period.

• Sales taxes for the period generated $4.1 billion, an increase of $344.63 million or 9.2 percent from the prior 12-months.

• Oil and gas gross production tax collections brought in $797.78 million during the 12 months, down by $237.49 million or 22.9 percent from the previous period.

• Motor vehicle collections total $697.88 million for the period. This is an increase of $56.1 million or 8.7 percent from the trailing 12 months.

• Other sources generated $1.51 billion, up $111.39 million or 7.9 percent from the previous 12 months. | 341-2121