DALLAS — The Oklahoma Legislature’s failure to pass proposed income tax cuts in the recently completed session will give lawmakers an additional $16 million to appropriate when they convene in 2013.
The Oklahoma Board of Equalization on Monday certified that the 2012 Legislature had the authority to appropriate $5.4 billion in fiscal 2013 spending.
The certification came after a review of two laws passed in the 2012 session that will bring in $28.7 million in additional revenue in the fiscal year that begins July 1.
Much of the new revenue had already been figured into general fund spending in the fiscal 2013 budget, but the Office of State Finance said the remaining $16 million can be allocated by the 2013 Legislature.
The additional revenue was meant to partially compensate for reduction in the state’s top personal income tax of 5.25% to 4.8%.
However, a dispute between House and Senate leaders over the size and timing of the rate cuts stopped the measure from being considered before the session ended in late May.
The 2013 Legislature can use the $16 million for supplemental emergency funding in the remainder of fiscal 2013, appropriate it in the fiscal 2014 budget, or deposit it in the Constitutional Reserve Fund, the state’s rainy-day fund.
Gov. Mary Fallin, who chairs the Board of Equalization, said the $16 million might be used for repairs at the deteriorating capitol and other state buildings in Oklahoma City.
Fallin supported a bill last session authorizing $200 million in state lease revenue bonds for the restoration effort, but it was defeated in the House by a coalition of conservative Republicans and Democrats.
“There are still a lot of important priorities that I hope we can address this coming legislative session,” Fallin said after the certification vote.
“We still haven’t taken care of the structural repairs that need to be made to the capitol,” she said. “Some of that money might possibly be considered for those needs. But it is good news we have extra money to look at.”
The Republican governor said she has not given up hopes for lowering the top personal income tax rate.
“That’s a huge priority of my administration,” she said. “I’ve advocated for a long time that I’d like to see us continue to lower our income tax so that we can give more money back to the taxpayers.”
The $28.7 million in additional revenue is expected to come from a new law that authorizes a sales-tax compliance effort that is expected to generate additional collections and one that deposits some motor-vehicle penalty fees into the general fund.
The 2012 Legislature approved a fiscal 2013 budget with $6.8 billion of general fund spending. Spending is higher than the certified appropriations limit of $5.4 billion because the budget includes dedicated funds and agency account balances.