DALLAS – With help from 2017 legislation, Oklahoma continues its strong resurgence from a deep economic slump with gross receipts of $970.9 million setting a record for the month of May, according to state Treasurer Ken Miller.

In addition, total gross receipts during the past 12 months, at $12.09 billion, are within $14 million of matching the all-time 12-month high, said Miller, calling the latest report a broad reflection of economic activity.

Oil storage tanks stand in this aerial photograph taken above Oklahoma.
Oil storage tanks in Oklahoma. State gross production taxes on oil and natural gas were up 91% year-over-year in May. Bloomberg News

“As has been the case each month for more than a year, Oklahoma’s economy is showing signs of ongoing expansion, Miller said. “In just the past 14 months, since 12-month collections last bottomed out, gross receipts have grown by more than $1.3 billion, an increase of more than 12%.”

The record high for 12-month collections was set in February 2015 at $12.103 billion, Miller said. At the end of May, 12-month collections were set at $12.09 billion, below the record by $13.7 million, or 0.11%.

The Oklahoma Tax Commission attributes $33.8 million in May to new revenue resulting from legislation enacted during 2017. The additional revenue comes primarily from changes in sales tax exemptions and gross production tax incentives.

The new revenue accounts for 3.5% of May gross receipts. Out of $10.2 billion in gross collections since last August, $274.7 million, or 2.7%, has resulted from last year’s law changes.

Tax increases signed into law in late March of this year have not yet taken effect and therefore have no impact on current collections, Miller said.

The Oklahoma Business Conditions Index has topped growth neutral for 10 consecutive months, Miller said. The May index rose to 68.5, from 62.7 in April. Numbers above 50 indicate anticipated economic growth during the next three to six months.

Oklahoma’s 4% seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady in April, while the U.S. jobless rate dropped by two-tenths of a percentage point from April to 3.9%. It marks the third time since October 1990 that Oklahoma’s jobless rate has been higher than the U.S. rate. The last time U.S. unemployment was as low was September 2000.

Gross income tax collections, a combination of individual and corporate income taxes, generated $281.8 million, an increase of $13.7 million, or 5.1%, from the previous May, Miller said.

Individual income tax collections for the month are $255.9 million, up by $18.1 million, or 7.6%, from the prior year. Corporate collections are $25.9 million, a decrease of $4.5 million, or 14.7%.

Sales tax collections, including remittances on behalf of cities and counties, total $391.1 million in May. That is $42.6 million, or 12.2%, more than May 2017.

Gross production taxes on oil and natural gas generated $74.1 million in May, an increase of $35.3 million, or 91%, from last May. Compared to April reports, gross production collections are up by $13.4 million, or 22.1 %, Miller said.

Motor vehicle taxes produced $69.7 million, up by $4.5 million, or 6.8%, from the same month of 2017.

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