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Income tax receipts fuel Okla. revenue boost

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A surge in income tax collections last month helped boost Oklahoma's revenue collections over those from last year and over expectations, state finance officials reported Tuesday.

Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger said collections to the state's General Revenue Fund last month totaled more than $700 million, an increase of nearly $90 million, or 15 percent, from the same month last year. That amount also exceeded the official estimate for the month by more than 15 percent.

"The economy is kicking and revenues are right on pace," Doerflinger said in a statement.

Much of the growth was from an increase in net income tax collections, which includes both individual and corporate tax collections. Net income tax collections to the General Revenue Fund were up 14 percent last month, while corporate income tax collections were up 50 percent.

Over the last 12 months, finance officials reported income tax collections totaled $2.1 billion, which is 13.5 percent above the official estimate.

Meanwhile, sales tax receipts and motor vehicle taxes both were less than last year and below projections.

"Declines in these areas are likely also influenced by our thousands of federal employees who are understandably holding back on spending in light of the federal budget uncertainty caused by sequestration," Doerflinger said.

The gross production tax on oil and natural gas exceeded April collections last year, but fell nearly 20 percent below the official state estimate.