Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

State to Have $75 Million More Available / by July 1, Says Board

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

State to Have $75 Million More Available / by July 1, Says Board

Article excerpt

An additional$75 million will be available for appropriation for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1988, as certified Wednesday by the Oklahoma Board of Equalization.

This is the first time in six years the Oklahoma Legislature has not faced a reduction in available revenue, according to the Oklahoma Office of State Finance.

The board's certified estimate, when added to cash on hand, makes $2.324 billion available for appropriation for the fiscal year, which ends June 30, 1989.

It compares with an appropriations level of $2.249 billion for the current fiscal year.

The $75 million represents a 3.3 percent increase over the current spending level.

State Comptroller Doug Enevoldsen said $34 million of the $75 million is being made available through the Federal Tax Reform Act of 1986, which added approximately $121 million to state revenues in the current fiscal year.

Since almost half of the additional funds for appropriation is made possible by the Tax Reform Act, Enevoldsen was asked if this is an indication Oklahoma's economy is not recovering as well as anticipated.

"I think the economy has hit bottom," he replied, "and we should see a very slow recovery in 1988."

The certification level for the coming fiscal year was made with the assumption by the equalization board that there will be a 10 percent drop in oil production, but the estimates were based on $18 a barrel price of oil instead of $16.50 as was certified for this fiscal year.

Because of marketing differences, West Texas Intermediate crude, the common benchmark for oil prices, will have to sell at $19.60 a barrel for Oklahoma oil to bring in $18 a barrel.

In addition, the board forcasted natural gas prices will drop from $1.45 per thousand cubic feet to $1. …

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