DALLAS — Oklahoma tax revenue from oil and gas production reached its lowest level in 12 years after falling 48% in March, according to Oklahoma Treasurer Ken Miller.
The state's total March tax collections were almost $28 million or 2.8% less than in March of last year, primarily because of the drop in oil and natural gas gross production receipts, Miller said April 6.
"The news isn't exactly good this month," Miller said in his report. "But it's also not unexpected. The low gross production collections are from January oilfield activity, when rates were at their lowest. Prices have rebounded slightly since then."
In January, benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude oil sold for an average price of $47.66 per barrel. March gross production collections of $39.6 million are the lowest since September 2002, when $32.5 million was reported.
March sales tax collections also fell below the prior year, down by 2.3%.
"This marks the first time in two years that monthly sales tax receipts have not shown growth over the prior year," Miller said.
Tax commission officials explained that sales tax collections last March were abnormally high due to two large audit payments and receipt of a one-time payment.
Gross income tax, motor vehicle and other collections increased in March compared to the prior year.
The 2.8% reduction in total March receipts marks only the second time since June 2013 that total collections have dropped below the same month of the prior year.
The state's personal income, as recently announced by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), indicates a growth rate of 3.8% in 2014, essentially on par with the national growth rate of 3.9%.
Unemployment figures for February set the state's jobless rate at 3.9% for a third consecutive month, compared to the national unemployment rate of 5.5%.
The revenue report for March shows gross collections at $957.32 million, down $27.71 million or 2.8% from March 2014.
Other collections, consisting of about 60 different sources including taxes on fuel, tobacco, horse race gambling and alcoholic beverages, produced $131.33 million during the month. That is $11.95 million or 10% more than last March.
Between April 2014 and March 2015, gross revenue totals $12.08 billion. That is $502.22 million or 4.3% higher than collections for the previous 12-month period.