State revenues show a dip

State tax collections in April missed the official monthly estimate by 12.9 percent and were 4.4 percent below the estimate for the fiscal year.

“The uncertainty that one-time revenue sources have left us with make it difficult to build a budget,” said Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology Preston L. Doerflinger.

General fund collections in April totaled $611.8 million, which is $90.3 million, or 12.9 percent, below the official estimate upon which the fiscal year 2017 appropriated state budget was based and $812,000, or 0.1 percent, below prior year collections. Total revenue through the first 10 months of fiscal year 2017 are $4.1 billion, which is $190.1 million, or 4.4 percent, below the estimate and $230.5 million, or 5.3 percent, below prior years.

A revenue failure was declared in February after state Board of Equalization projections showed FY 17 collections would fall 5.7 percent below the official estimates made in June, and agencies were notified of the 0.7 percent reduction. If projections fall more than 5.7 percent below that original estimate, then further agency cuts will be needed. If collections come in better than 5.7 percent below the original estimate, then agencies receive a refund.

While April collections were below the estimate, there were enough to cover monthly agency allocations and pay back a portion of what was borrowed from other funds earlier in the fiscal year. About $35 million was returned to funds, including about $4.2 million to the Rainy Day Fund to cover a supplemental appropriation for the Department of Human Services.

The total amount borrowed this year to make agency allocations is about $327 million, with $240.7 million of that being borrowed from the Rainy Day Fund. The total amount left to be repaid to all funds after this month’s repayment will be about $292 million.

Earlier this year, Doerflinger told the state Board of Equalization that he had to borrow from different funds, including the Rainy Day Fund, in order to make monthly agency allotments for general revenue appropriations. As state law requires, these funds will be paid back when the FY 17 general revenue has been reconciled.

“If the Legislature raids the Rainy Day Fund for FY 2018 and fails to pass a substantial amount of recurring revenue measures, it will be hard to see where the money will come from to make monthly allocations,” Doerflinger said. “This is the cash-flow issue Oklahoma is faced with, and it’s time for legislators to start working together and pass recurring revenue measures that the governor can sign.”

Total income tax collections of $360.3 million were $87.5 million, or 19.5 percent, below the estimate and $10 million, or 2.7 percent, below the prior year.

Individual income tax collections of $315.9 million were $84.7 million, or 21.1 percent, below the estimate and $1.9 million, or 0.6 percent, below the prior year.

Corporate income tax collections of $44.4 million were $2.8 million, or 5.9 percent, below the estimate and $8.1 million, or 15.5 percent, below the prior year. April collections mark the first time in seven months that corporate income tax collections contributed to the GRF.

Sales tax collections of $162.9 million were $31,000, or 0.01 percent, above the estimate and $3.6 million, or 2.3 percent, above the prior year.