The Oklahoma Board of Equalization last week adopted an official revenue estimate for fiscal 2013 that will give budget writers $400 million more than was available for the fiscal 2012 budget.
The board accepted expectations for collections at $6.5 billion next fiscal year, up from $6.1 billion last year. The $6.4 billion general fund budget for fiscal 2012 was balanced with $500 million of one-time money.
State finance director Preston Doerflinger said the projections show that Oklahoma has emerged from the recession.
“More than any time in history this is certainly Oklahoma’s time to shine, and it’s a result of how we positioned ourselves financially,” he said. “It’s much more positive than most other states, who would love to be sitting where we’re sitting at today.”
Gov. Mary Fallin, who sits on the revenue panel, said it will be a challenge to replace the money that will not be available this year.
“It’s positive news that our economy has been showing growth,” Fallin said. “With the money that we received over the last couple of years from one-time funding from the stimulus, from the federal government, we still anticipate that we will have a relatively flat budget year in making up for the loss of one-time funds.”
The panel will meet again in February to adopt an official estimate of the money that the Legislature can appropriate. Lawmakers are legally restricted to allocating only 95% of anticipated collections.
The 2012 legislative session begins Feb. 6.