Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Revenue Forecast Made on Modest State Growth

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Revenue Forecast Made on Modest State Growth

Article excerpt

Revenue forecast for the fiscal year that begins July 1, which was approved Monday by the State Board of Equalization, was based on the assumption that Oklahoma will continue to experience modest but continued growth, and that the current downturn in the national economy will have a limited effect in Oklahoma, said State Comptroller Doug Enevoldsen.

Enevoldsen said the budget for the current fiscal year that ends June 30 appears to be on solid ground, with revenues now being projected to slightly exceed original estimates.

State budgets for the fiscal year ended June 30 were built on the assumption that the national recession would have ended by then, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers. Then, budgets for the current fiscal year were frequently built on major tax increases _ a total $15 billion among the 50 states.

The association said states experienced a $12.5 billion shortfall for the fiscal year that ended June 30, with the average shortfall in sales and income tax revenue alone at 4.6 percent. But Oklahoma was 0.4 percent above its estimate for sales and income tax revenue.

Of the huge collective tax increase, most states increased taxes in an effort to maintain current services, the association said. That differs from Oklahoma's 1990 income and sales tax increases, which were enacted to pay for improvements in education.

Oklahoma has continued to record economic growth during the past 18 months, according to the forecast presented Monday to the equalization board. But the state economy has started to feel the pressure of the national recession during the last several months, the report said.

"Recognizing that the overall picture remains somwhat clouded by the current uncertainty of the national economy," Enevoldsen said, "it would appear prudent to treat our current Oklahoma revenue forecast with caution, pending consideration of the final estimate by the Constitution. …

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