Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

State of Oklahoma Revenues Continue Upward Trend in March

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

State of Oklahoma Revenues Continue Upward Trend in March

Article excerpt

State general revenues exceeded expectations in March, normally a low collection month due to the high level of income tax refunds.

State Treasurer Scott Meacham said March revenues totaled $454.4 million, which is $100.6 million or 28.4 percent above March of last year and $91.4 million or 25.2 percent above the official estimate set by the State Equalization Board.

He said income tax collections were well above last March and the estimate.

I think it's just a reflection of the economy, Meacham said. The two key economic indicators that I look at in revenue collections are sales tax and income tax. Both of those generally reflect how your economy is doing and how consumers are doing financially.

Meacham said both were up substantially in March.

People are making more money, and they're spending more money, he said.

Meacham said sales tax numbers are particularly noteworthy because they reflect the level of retail activity in the economy.

March sales tax collections increased 18 percent over the prior year's level, he said.

Meacham also announced that, for the first time this fiscal year, general revenues include some collections of gross production taxes from oil, not just natural gas.

The first $150 million in oil taxes is divided among three education funds, a rural economic development fund and a fund for county roads and bridges.

For March, the total of $80.7 million in gross production taxes going to general revenue includes $18.6 million from oil taxes.

The total from both oil and gas was $40.9 million or 102.8 percent above March 2005 and $25.2 million or 45.3 percent above the estimate.

Income taxes produced $172.2 million, which was $33.9 million or 24.5 percent above the same month last year and $44.9 million or 35.3 percent above the estimate.

State sales tax collections yielded $121.2 million in March. This was $18. …

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