Once again, gross production taxes on oil and gas production in Oklahoma helped create a major increase in Oklahoma’s General Revenue Fund collections for the month of February.
The Office of Management and Enterprise Services reported the total general revenue fund collections topped $385 million, coming in at $64 million or nearly 20 percent over the monthly estimate. It was also $91 million or nearly 31 percent above the February 2018 collections.
The state’s gross production taxes totaled $82.1 million for February and they were $40.1 million or 95.5 percent over the estimate. But compared to February of 2018, the February 2019 collections were $54 million or 191.8 percent higher.
Natural gas collections of $45.7 million were $14.5 million, or 46.3 percent, above the estimate and $22.3 million, or 95.4 percent, above the prior year.
Oil collections of $36.4 million were $25.7 million, or 238.0 percent, above the estimate and $31.7 million, or 664.9 percent, above the prior year.
Total collections over the first eight months of the fiscal year are $267.8 million, or 6.8 percent, above the estimate to date and $631.6 million, or 17.7 percent, above prior year collections.
“I’m pleased to see strong returns in February which is historically the weakest month of the fiscal year for collections,” said Office of Management and Enterprise Services Director John Budd. “But I would caution putting too much emphasis on the monthly drivers and instead look to the year-to-date numbers as a more accurate picture of the state’s fiscal outlook.”
Sales tax collections of $168.9 million were $4.3 million, or 2.5 percent, below the estimate and $4.5 million, or 2.7 percent, above the prior year. Corporate income tax collections of $1.7 million were $1.1 million, or 192.6 percent, above the estimate.
“Obviously, we have a few tax categories that are way above the monthly estimates. In regard to income tax collections, fluctuation is mostly due to volatility from historical patterns, which holds the estimates to lower numbers,” said Budd. “February estimates are always much lower and more sensitive to fluctuating refunds or rebates which impacted both personal and corporate collections this month.”
For the first eight months of FY 2019, total net income tax collections to the GRF are $152.2 million and 11.2 percent above the estimate and total gross production collections are $165.4 million and 58.3 percent above the estimate. Sales tax collections and motor vehicle collections over the first eight months remain almost flat at 0.3 percent below the estimate and 0.6 percent above the estimate, respectively. Total collections from all other sources are below the estimate by $46 million, or 6.2 percent to date
Major tax categories in February contributed the following amounts to the GRF:
Total income tax collections of $51.1 million were $44.6 million, or 685.8 percent, above the estimate and $6.8 million, or 15.4 percent, above the prior year.
Individual income tax collections of $49.4 million were $43.5 million, or 734.1 percent, above the estimate and $5.1 million, or 11.6 percent, above the prior year.
Corporate income tax collections of $1.7 million were $1.1 million, or 192.6 percent, above the estimate. Collections from this source were net zero in February of 2018.
Sales tax collections of $168.9 million were $4.3 million, or 2.5 percent, below the estimate and $4.5 million, or 2.7 percent, above the prior year.
Motor vehicle tax collections of $15.2 million were $32,000, or 0.2 percent, above the estimate and $0.8 million, or 5.5 percent, above the prior year.
Other revenue collections of $67.8 million were $16.4 million, or 19.5 percent, below the estimate and $24.9 million, or 58.2 percent, above the prior year.
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, other mandatory apportionments and after sales and use taxes are remitted back to municipalities. In contrast, gross collections, reported by the State Treasurer, are all revenues remitted to the Oklahoma Tax Commission.