DALLAS Skyrocketing income tax refunds dropped Oklahoma general fund collections last month by 17% below the official forecast.
Receipts of $347.6 million in August were $38.8 million below August 2012 general fund revenues, said Oklahoma finance secretary Clarence Doerflinger.
Income tax collections fell by $40.2 million, down almost 30% from last year and $50 million less than expected.
“This was a single-month collection anomaly rather than any reflection of Oklahoma’s economy,” Doerflinger said.
The corporate income tax contributed nothing because refunds in August exceeded collections, he said, and personal tax collections of $103.7 million were down $36.2 million from last year due to an $11 million increase in refunds.
Better times are ahead, Doerflinger said.
“Income tax collections should begin evening out in the months ahead, especially if our unemployment rate remains low,” he said. “We still expect overall revenue growth by year’s end, although that growth may be more modest than in recent years due in part to noneconomic factors that could soften revenues.”
General fund collections total $757.4 million in the first two months of fiscal 2014, $59 million less than expected and down $18 million from the same period of 2013.
The state sales tax has contributed $163.4 million to Oklahoma’s general fund in fiscal 2014.