General Revenue Fund collections for February, released this week by the state showed totals, including the gross production tax collections on oil and gas were more than a year ago, but were also below the monthly estimates.
The gross production tax collections totaled $28.1 million, a figure $16 million or 36.3 percent less than what officials had estimated would be raised. However, the $28.1 million was still $12.9 million or 84.3 percent more than February 2017.
Natural gas collections were $23.4 million and again were $3.7 million or 13.6 percent below the estimate. However, they were $10.1 million or 76.7 percent more than a year earlier.
Collections on oil totaled $4.8 million, which was $12.3 million or 72.1 percent less than the monthly estimate. However, the collections were $2.7 million or 134.2 percent more than collected a year earlier.
The state’s total General Revenue Fund collections for the month were $294.2 million, about $2 million or 0.7 percent less than the monthly estimate. But they were still $46.2 million or 18.6 percent more than the collections reported in February 2017.
Office of Management and Enterprise Services Director Denise Northrup said the total collections over the first eight months of the fiscal year were $3.6 billion. That’s $120.4 million or 3.5 percent over the year-to-date estimated and also $415 million or 13.2 percent more than the year-to-date for 2017.
“February collections are historically our lowest collection month, and as predicted, we came up short this month,” said Northrup. “As we look forward to the remainder of the fiscal year, slow and steady progress should be expected.”
Total income tax collections came in at $44.3 million, and were $19.5 million, or 78.6 percent, above the estimate. The other revenues category had collections of $42.9 million and were $11.4 million, or 20.9 percent, below the estimate mostly due to a transfer of $16.7 million to the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program (OHLAP).
Motor vehicle tax collections of $14.4 million were $1.4 million, or 9.0 percent, below the estimate and $215,000, or 1.5 percent, below the prior year.
“It’s important to reiterate that we are still in recovery mode and any declaration otherwise would be an embellishment of our financial reality. Most of the increases we have seen the past few months have been due to law changes, not economic growth,” Northrup said.
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.
Total income tax collections of $44.3 million consisted entirely of individual income tax collections and were $19.5 million, or 78.6 percent, above the estimate and $21.9 million, or 98.1 percent, above the prior year.
Corporate income tax collections made no contribution to the General Revenue Fund from February collections and none were estimated to be received due to previous years’ history. Sales tax collections of $164.4 million were $7.3 million, or 4.7 percent, above the estimate and $23.4 million, or 16.6 percent, above the prior year.