Miller Says Economy Gaining Steam
State Treasurer Ken Miller's May revenue report shows Oklahoma’s economy has made up more than one-third of the dollars lost in the downturned economy.
Twelve-month receipts ending in May are $10.071 billion, marking the first time since August 2009 that the 12-month total has topped $10 billion.
“Oklahoma’s economy has made great strides in the past year,” Miller said. “We see improving health in virtually every economic sector measured by revenue collections. The latest report on unemployment also brings good news. With April’s preliminary rate set at 5.6 percent, the report shows that our private sector continues to add much needed jobs as we try to get back to full employment.”
The last time Oklahoma’s unemployment rate was lower was in February 2009, when it was 5.5 percent. The lowest unemployment rate for Oklahoma in the past 35 years is 2.8 percent recorded in December 2000.
Revenue collections peaked in December 2008 with a 12-month total of $11.283 billion. Totals dropped steeply during the next 13 months, bottoming out in February 2010 at $9.364 billion. Each month since then, receipts have increased at a slightly accelerating pace.
From the trough in February of last year, 12-month gross receipts have recovered 37 percent of the revenue that was lost during the more than one-year plunge in collections.
“Our revenues fell sharply once the Great Recession took hold,” Miller said. “Now 15 months into the expansion phase of the business cycle, we are seeing continued signs of steady recovery.”
Economists were divided on the shape of the eventual recovery. Some predicted an L-shaped business cycle, where economic growth would be flat for an extended period. Others predicted the typical V-shaped recovery, indicating a steep decline in the economy followed by a steep increase.
Oklahoma numbers indicate a hybrid of the two with a steep decline and slow incline.
“Absent a significant external event, there is no indication the Oklahoma economy will experience a “double-dip” or W-shaped recovery but will continue on its current expansionary path,” Miller said.
The revenue report for May shows gross collections are $812.14 million, up $78.48 million or 10.7 percent from May of last year. Net income tax collections, a combination of personal and corporate income taxes, generated $233.27 million, an increase of $32.03 million or 15.9 percent from the previous May. Personal income tax collections for the month are $222.30 million, up $29.23 million or 15.1 percent from the prior year. Corporate collections are $10.97 million, an increase of $2.80 million or 34.3 percent. Sales tax collections, including remittances on behalf of cities and counties, total $313.97 million in May. That is $20.97 million or 7.2 percent above May of last year. Gross production taxes on oil and gas generated $95.63 million in May, an increase of $10.53 million or 12.4 percent from last May.
Compared to April reports, collections are up $17.12 million or 21.8 percent from the previous month. Motor vehicle taxes were recorded at $55.76 million, up by $9.18 million or 19.7 percent from the prior year. Other sources, consisting of about 60 different sources including taxes on fuel, tobacco, horse race gambling and alcoholic beverages, produced $113.51 during the month. That is $5.76 million or 5.4 percent higher than last May. Fuel tax collections in May total $35.7 million, reflecting a $708,000 or 2 percent increase over the prior year. The 16-cent per gallon gasoline tax accounted for $25.89 million and the 13-cent per gallon diesel tax generated $9.82 million. Gasoline tax collections were up $232,000 or 0.9 percent, while diesel collections climbed $476,000 or 5.1 percent.