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State Collections Slow in February, Budget Picture Tightens

State Collections Slow in February, Budget Picture Tightens

Scott Meacham
Oklahoma State Treasurer
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

For Immediate Release: March 10, 2009

State Collections Slow in February, Budget Picture Tightens

OKLAHOMA CITY - February revenue collections fell significantly below
the prior year and the estimate for the month, reflecting Oklahoma's
participation in the national recession and significantly tightening the
budget picture for state government, State Treasurer Scott Meacham
announced today.

Preliminary reports show general revenue fund collections for February
totaled $237.9 million. That amount was:

*    $ 65.4 million or 21.6 percent below the prior year; and
*    $ 103.9 million or 30.4 percent below the estimate.

"The revenue picture in Oklahoma worsened during February," Meacham
said. "Collections in each of the four major tax categories were below
the prior year and the estimate. February collections are typically
light, but this February's collections were significantly lower."

Meacham said a large drop off in income tax collections for the month is
partially due to faster filing for tax refunds.

"We saw a 10.4 percent increase in the number of Oklahomans who filed
their income tax returns and received refunds this February compared to
last year," he said. "Personal and corporate income tax refunds paid in
February totaled $189.1 million, reflecting a $32 million or 20.4
percent increase from a year ago."

While the budget picture is tighter, Meacham said a healthy cushion
still exists to fund government through the remainder of the fiscal
year.

"Year-to-date collections are $47.3 million or 1.3 percent above the
estimate on which the budget is based," he said. "Since the legislature
appropriates only 95 percent of the estimate, there is a built-in five
percent cushion; collections for the remainder of the fiscal year would
have to fall more than $297 million below the estimate before current
spending commitments would be at risk."

Net income tax collections produced $7.9 million, which is $32.8 million
or 80.6 percent below the prior year and $42.3 million or 84.3 percent
below the estimate. Net income tax collections include personal income
taxes and corporate income taxes less refunds paid for the month.

Personal income tax collections totaled $46.2 million for the month,
falling short of the prior year by $13.4 million or 25.5 percent.
Refunds from personal income taxes totaling $155.3 million were paid
during February compared to $142.3 million the prior February. A
transfer of $21.4 million from personal collections to corporate
collections was needed to help fund corporate refunds. The net
apportionment to general revenue from personal income tax collections
totaled $7.9 million.

Corporate collections for the month are listed as zero - after the
transfer from personal income tax collections to cover corporate
refunds. Corporate collections in February of last year were $1.8
million. Corporate refunds for the month totaled $33.8 million compared
to $14.8 million the prior February.

The state sales tax produced $125.3 million for the month, which is $3.1
million or 2.4 percent below the prior year and $7.1 million or 5.4
percent below the estimate. Total sales tax collections were within
$184,000 of the prior year, but refunds increased by $3.3 million.

The gross production tax on oil and natural gas yielded $40.5 million
for the month, which is $24.7 million or 37.9 percent below the prior
year and $31.3 million or 43.6 percent below the estimate.

Motor vehicle taxes produced $17 million, which is $5.2 million or 23.5
percent below the prior year and $3 million or 14.8 percent below the
estimate.

Investment of state funds produced $12.6 million for the month. That is
$4.3 million or 25.7 percent less than the previous year.

Other revenue, which includes investment earnings along with taxes on
insurance, alcoholic beverages and others, produced $47.2 million for
the month of February. This is $0.5 million or 1 percent above the prior
year but $20.2 million or 30 percent below the estimate.

For the fiscal year to date, collections continue to be higher than the
prior year and the estimate. Total general revenue collections for the
first eight months of the fiscal year are $3.812 billion. That is $126.4
million or 3.4 percent above the prior year and $47.3 million or 1.3
percent above the estimate.

# # #

For more information contact:
Tim Allen, Deputy Treasurer for Policy and Administration, (405)
522-4212

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