KGOU

tax revenue

Oklahoma City Hall
Caleb Long / Wikimedia Commons

Oklahoma City won’t be hiring new staff as it copes with lower tax collections.

City manager Jim Couch said during Tuesday’s city council meeting he's implementing a hiring freeze starting November 9.

Couch said sales tax collections for October were 3.2 percent below projections, and 2.6 percent below what was collected a year ago.

American currency
thinkpanama / Flickr Creative Commons

State finance officials say revenue collections to Oklahoma's main operating fund for state government trailed projections by nearly 10 percent last month, mostly because of huge decreases from oil and gas production taxes.

The Office of Management and Enterprise Services reported Tuesday that collections to the General Revenue Fund totaled nearly $403 million, which is 9.8 percent below the official projection. It was also more than 10 percent below collections from the same month last year.

Governor Mary Fallin / www.ok.gov

Gov. Mary Fallin said Thursday she hopes to work with lawmakers on what she called an “overhaul” of the state’s budgeting process.

“We need to look at making fundamental changes in our budgeting process, even how the Legislature runs its legislative session,” Fallin said following Thursday’s meeting of the Board of Equalization. “In other words, I think we need to focus more on the budget and revenue streams and even possibly look at doing budgeting every year but maybe doing substantive legislation session every other year.”

Oklahoma motorists are enjoying some of the lowest gasoline prices in the nation. Prices have fallen as much as 90 cents in the past six months, with some stations selling gas at less than two dollars a gallon. The lower gas prices are the result of a decline in the price of crude oil, which is expected to hover at around 70 to 80 dollars a barrel in 2015.

But the drop in gasoline prices also means less tax revenue to the State of Oklahoma just as the legislature is developing a budget for the new fiscal year that begins on July 1, 2015.

Falling oil prices are raising concerns about Oklahoma’s state budget. Economists at the Oklahoma Economic Outlook Conference say the decline in oil prices could result in the loss of as many as 1000 energy sector jobs, and a loss of severance tax revenue used to fund state government.

They also say educational standards must be rigorous enough to meet the demands of business and industry.

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Prediction: Next Year's State Budget To Be Flat

Nov 13, 2014
Finance Secretary Preston Doerflinger
Oklahoma PCA / Flickr Creative Commons

Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology Preston Doerflinger warned Thursday that next fiscal year’s state appropriated budget will be flat.

Doerflinger’s comments came in his monthly General Revenue Fund report. The report showed General Revenue Fund (GRF) collections in October totaled $471.6 million. That was $3.4 million, or 0.7 percent, above the official estimate upon which the FY2015 appropriated state budget is based and $23.3 million, or 5.2 percent, above prior year collections.

Finance Secretary Preston Doerflinger
Oklahoma PCA / Flickr Creative Commons

Oklahoma finance officials say collections to the state's main operating fund are increasing from last year in most major revenue categories and have exceeded the official estimate by more than 6 percent.

The Office of Management and Enterprise Services reported Tuesday that collections to the state's General Revenue Fund for the first quarter of the fiscal year totaled more than $1.3 billion, which is 6.1 percent above the official estimate. That amount also exceeded prior year collections by 9.4 percent.