Oklahoma will transfer $219 million into its rainy-day fund, which had dropped to a mere $2.03 — the largest deposit into the reserve fund since the end of fiscal 2005.
State finance director Preston Doerflinger said the deposit into the depleted constitutional reserve fund was a result of stronger-than-expected revenue in fiscal 2011, particularly in the final month.
“June revenue collections from all major sources continued to beat the official state estimate and last year’s receipts,” Doerflinger said. “While we will likely face a tight budget again next year, this enhances stabilization of Oklahoma’s overall revenue situation.”
In early June, he said the year-end deposit could be double the $71 million projected to go into the fund, according to February’s official state revenue estimate.
Doerflinger said June’s sales tax collections of $146.2 million were 8.2% higher than in June 2010 and 3.2% more than expected. State income taxes brought in $263.9 million last month, 21.5% more than June 2010 and 24% above the official estimate.
“We’re getting economic traction in all areas, including some where it appears stagnation has set in for the national economy,” he said last week. “Recent declines in Oklahoma’s unemployment rate coincide with strong income tax collections, both individual and corporate.”
Gov. Mary Fallin said the improved revenues are a result of Oklahoma’s reviving economy.
“It is great news that tax revenues continue to climb, unemployment is ticking down, and the state is quickly replenishing its rainy day fund,” she said.
Voters approved a constitutional measure in November 2010 that raised the maximum deposit to 15% of annual general fund collections from 10%.
The rainy-day fund reached its constitutional limit of $596.6 million in fiscal 2008 but has dwindled as lawmakers relied on it to compensate for drops in state revenue.