|Flag of the Governor of Oklahoma|
In all, an extra $212.6 million in growth revenue is available for Fiscal Year 2014 appropriations than was appropriated for FY 2013, the current fiscal year ending June 30, according to figures approved by the seven-member board, which is chaired by the governor. The board approved revenues for appropriation topping $7 billion for FY 2014.
Secretary of Finance and Revenue Preston L. Doerflinger issued the following statement:
“Three years of impressive economic expansion have Oklahoma back at pre-recession revenue strength. That growth has generated $34 million more for appropriations than we used to build the governor’s proposed budget. Our priority now is to begin immediate work with the Legislature to set an honest state budget that uses these growth revenues to reduce income taxes and boost funding for core services like education and other priorities. Today’s picture is bright, but the looming federal sequester is anything but. There is no doubt it could hit our defense sector hard. Oklahoma’s best path forward is to continue emphasizing fiscal restraint and enacting policies that spur the type of impressive economic expansion enjoyed for these past three years.”
Doerflinger is director of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, which prepares the revenue estimates the Board of Equalization certifies each year. Highlights of Tuesday’s revenue certification include:
The General Revenue Fund will have a surplus of $83.3 million to deposit in the Rainy Day Fund in July, increasing the amount in the state savings account to $660.8 million, an all-time record.
Oklahoma’s steady economic growth since the Great Recession has led to total state revenues increasing by 2.6 percent each of the two past fiscal years and projected to rise 3.1 percent next year.
Personal income tax collections are projected to generate $2.1 billion for fiscal year 2014, which is $155.2 million more than fiscal year 2013 – a 7.8 percent increase.
Sales tax collections are projected to generate $2 billion for fiscal year 2014, which is $106.5 million more than fiscal year 2013 – a 5.5 percent increase.
Economic snapshot: Oklahoma has added more than 62,000 jobs in the past two years, resulting in the nation’s sixth-lowest unemployment rate, 5.1 percent, and second-strongest manufacturing job growth rate.
Both the Oklahoma Arts Council and OETA are seeking increases in their appropriations.