Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Deposit to Be Made in 'Rainy Day' Fund

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Deposit to Be Made in 'Rainy Day' Fund

Article excerpt

month to Oklahoma's Constitutional Reserve "rainy day" Fund, State Finance Director Alexander Holmes said Tuesday.

The deposit is the second since the fund was created. Added to the existing $52 million balance, rainy day money now totals $152.9 million, Holmes said. Some $26 million of the fund was spent last year for emergency construction at state prisons.

The state constitution allows up to half the balance to be appropriated for emergency causes, while half must be preserved to stabilize revenues in case of a budget decline.

The $152.9 million total is about two-thirds of the fund's current ceiling of $237.3 million. The constitutional amendment adopted by voters in 1985 requires general revenue receipts in excess of 100 percent of the itemized revenue estimate for a fiscal year to got into the fund.

Those deposits must continue until the fund equals 10 percent of the preceding fiscal year's certified estimate.

Meanwhile, the general revenue fund collected $2.6 billion in the fiscal year that ended June 30, up 8.5 percent from $2.39 billion for fiscal year 1988.

The figure topped the itemized estimate made in February 1988 by $100.9 million, or 4 percent, and it was $16 million greater than had been projected in February 1989.

The latest total was an increase of $138.4 million, or 5.7 percent, in recurring revenue after adjusting for one-time receipts and fund transfers.

Revenues exceeded the original estimates as well as collections of a year ago in three of the four major tax categories - income, sales and auto tag agency fees.

Receipts fell behind in the gross production tax on oil and gas, although the finance office said that source has shown recent improvement due to increasing prices.

"Overall, we feel our revenue report reconfirms a picture of modest but steady growth as well as further diversification of our revenue base," said Holmes. …

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