GRF receipts fall 12.4% below September estimate
Previous month’s anomalies corrected as income, sales taxes miss estimate
OKLAHOMA CITY — With personal income tax and other revenue making a correction and sales tax continuing to decline, total General Revenue Fund (GRF) receipts were 12.4 percent below the September estimate.
As state government’s main operating fund, the GRF is the key indicator of state government’s fiscal status and the predominant funding source for the annual appropriated state budget. GRF collections are revenues that remain for the appropriated state budget after rebates, refunds and mandatory apportionments. Gross collections, reported by the State Treasurer, are all revenues collected by the state before rebates, refunds and mandatory apportionments.
GRF collections in September totaled $452.6 million, which is $64.2 million, or 12.4 percent, below the official estimate upon which the Fiscal Year 2017 appropriated state budget was based and $91.5 million, or 16.8 percent, below prior year collections. Total GRF collections through the first three months of FY 2017 are $1.2 billion, which is $16.8 million, or 1.4 percent, above the estimate and $130.2 million, or 9.5 percent, below prior year collections.
“The previous month’s jump was simply because of unpredictable circumstances and not based on any economic change,” said Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology Preston L. Doerflinger. “September’s receipts give a much more accurate revenue picture.”
August receipts surged 31 percent above the estimate because of unpredicted jumps in collections of personal income tax and the other revenue category — a combination of revenues from licenses, permits, fees and other deposits. Personal income tax collections were up 137.9 percent, and other revenue finished 39.8 percent above the estimate.
The collections’ uptick proved only temporary in September. Individual income tax collections fell to $184.6 million, or $12.9 million, or 6.5 percent, below the estimate. The other revenue category had $60.3 million in collections, which is $9.7 million, or 13.9 percent, below the estimate.
“In August, the personal income tax estimate was dialed down because it had been historically low. When collections bucked a four-year trend, it made overall collections appear a bit better than they really were,” Doerflinger said. “More concerning than September’s correction is the continued slide of sales tax, which makes up a large portion of the GRF and city service budgets.”
September sales tax collections were $9.3 million, or 5.9 percent, below the estimate and $6.6 million, or 4.2 percent below the previous year. Sales tax collections have remained below the estimate now for 19 of the last 20 months and below the prior year for 18 of the last 20 months. Sales tax collections typically comprise about 35 percent of the GRF’s annual collections.
Doerflinger is director of OMES, which issues the monthly GRF reports.
Major tax categories in September contributed the following amounts to the GRF:
Total income tax collections of $216.8 million were $46.2 million, or 17.5 percent, below the estimate and $89.7 million, or 29.2 percent, below the prior year.
Individual income tax collections of $184.6 million were $12.9 million, or 6.5 percent, below the estimate and $40.8 million, or 18.1 percent, below the prior year.
Corporate income tax collections of $32.3 million were $33.3 million, or 50.8 percent, below the estimate and $48.8 million, or 60.2 percent, below the prior year.
Sales tax collections of $148.2 million were $9.3 million, or 5.9 percent, below the estimate and $6.6 million, or 4.2 percent, below the prior year.
Gross production tax collections of $10.5 million were $2.2 million, or 26.3 percent, above the estimate and $903,000, or 9.4 percent, above the prior year.
Natural gas collections of $9.1 million were $768,000, or 9.3 percent, above the estimate and $468,000, or 4.9 percent, below the prior year.
Oil collections of $1.4 million were almost entirely above the estimate and prior year. Since the GRF received only minimal contributions from oil tax collections in September 2015, a very small amount was estimated for current month collections.
Motor vehicle tax collections of $16.8 million were $1.2 million, or 6.7 percent, below the estimate and $1 million, or 5.5 percent, below the prior year.
Other revenue collections of $60.3 million were $9.7 million, or 13.9 percent, below the estimate and $4.8 million, or 8.6 percent, above the prior year.
Revenue tables can be viewed on the OMES website: September 2016 Financial Report Data Tables
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