Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

State Losing Several Millions on Minimum Allocation Funds / Says Bellmon

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

State Losing Several Millions on Minimum Allocation Funds / Says Bellmon

Article excerpt

dollars each year on minimum allocation funds from the federal government, according to Gov. Henry Bellmon.

This is a problem, Bellmon said, he hopes Oklahoma's congressional delegation will eradicate.

Bellmon said in a press conference Thursday he will discuss the problem at an economic committee meeting of the congressional delegation scheduled Saturday.

Oklahoma is one of 17 states which receives minimum allocation funds from the federal government. Basically, Oklahoma is guaranteed the minimum 85 percent return on each dollar of taxes paid on gasoline, oil, truck parts and other items to the federal government.

That money is used by the state for highway construction projects.

According to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, however, other states get a much higher return on their tax dollars. For example, the District of Columbia gets about a 400 percent return.

The formula by which the return is calculated for each state was approved by Congress, and Bellmon wants to see the formula changed so that Oklahoma will get a better rate of return.

Also at Thursday's press conference, the governor revealed a greater percentage of Oklahoma Board of Equalization's estimate of state revenues for this fiscal year has been collected compared with the percentage of collections for the same period in the previous fiscal year.

The Oklahoma Office of State Finance Tuesday released the state general revenue fund report for January, which reflects December revenues.

A total of $237.7 million was received in January. Though a record amount of $70.4 million was collected in the category of sales tax, it was only 16. …

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