Oklahoma benefited in January from higher-than-expected oil and gas severance-tax collections, but total revenue continued to fall below expectations.

Treasurer Scott Meacham said last week that general fund revenue in January totaled $410.4 million, which was $107.6 million less than estimated and $82.4 million less than collected in January 2009.

He said revenue was sufficient to meet allocations to state agencies, which have been cut 10% through fiscal 2010. The state distributed $394.8 million to agencies, leaving $15.6 million that can be used in coming months, Meacham said.

“We’re not out of the woods yet, but we are seeing positive movement,” he said.

“In January, net income tax collections showed improvement versus what we had been seeing in prior months,” the treasurer said. “We also received approximately $10 million in gross production tax collections from oil for the first time this fiscal year.”

The first $150 million in oil gross-production collections each fiscal year are diverted to fill three education-related funds. After that, the majority of the revenue flows to the general fund.

General fund collections in the first seven months of fiscal 2010 total $2.6 billion, $964.6 million less than in the same period of fiscal 2009 and $863.6 million less than expected when the current budget was developed.

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