The state’s general revenue fund is growing, State Finance Director Preston Doerflinger said in a statement released Tuesday.
The Tulsa World’s Randy Krehbiel on the basics:
Deposits to the fund, the source for most legislative appropriations, totaled $408.1 million for October, a 6.3 percent increase over the same month a year ago and 2.3 percent above projections.
The Oklahoman’s Michael McNutt on how oil fueled the boost:
The general revenue fund received a $7.6 million deposit from oil gross production taxes in October after the cap of $150 million was reached for funds earmarked mostly to education.
After the cap is hit, 81.4 percent of oil taxes go into the general revenue fund.
Despite the growth, general fund collections are still well below pre-downturn levels.
In a blog post, David Blatt, director of the Oklahoma Policy Institute, said the numbers mean Oklahoma’s economy is still suffering an “incomplete recovery.”
This reflects a combination of factors: continued fragility in the job market, the impact of the permanent income tax cuts passed in the mid-2000s, and the allocation of a growing share of income tax revenue to the ROADS fund and higher education scholarships rather than the General Revenue Fund.
Overall,with revenues remaining well below pre-downturn levels, meeting our obligations and ensuring the adequate funding of state services will remain an enormous challenge.