Tax collections for Oklahoma’s general fund in October fell to $444.3 million, which is $30.3 million below October 2006 collections, a drop of 6.4%. The total was $16.6 million, or 3.6%, below estimates in the state budget for fiscal 2008. State Treasurer Scott Meacham reported declines in sales, income, and natural gas severance taxes, the first monthly drop in three major categories since 2003.The only increase was noted in motor vehicle taxes. Collections of $24 million were $3.7 million more than in October 2006 and $3.9 million above the budget estimate.October’s drop marks the first time revenue collections for a single month fell below collections in the previous year and the current estimate since February 2007 after Oklahoma was ravaged by a severe ice storm.“Although these figures represent only one month’s collections, we certainly need to watch future collections closely,” said Meacham, the cabinet secretary for revenue and finance.“Often times, there are month-to-month variances in collections due to timing and seasonality factors,” he said. “We know that is part of the explanation for the decrease in sales tax collections this month.” Individual and corporate income tax returns totaled $185.6 million, which is $23.7 million less than in 2006 and $3.8 million below the estimate.Personal income tax collections for the month totaled $173.1 million, and corporate income tax collections were $12.5 million. The state sales tax produced $123.7 million in October, off $400,000 from 2006 and $6 million below the estimate.The state’s tax on natural gas yielded $49.1 million during the month, down by $7 million from 2006 and $6 million below the estimate.
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