economy

Oklahoma Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments

Posted by Aaron Morvan on

Tuesday, August 8, 2017, the Oklahoma Supreme Court heard oral arguments for three different suits against the state.

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Higher Education Officials Plea for Lower Budget Cuts

Last Updated by Bob Sands on

The presidents of several Oklahoma colleges and universities met today behind closed doors with legislative budget writers to plea for an easing in budget cuts to higher education. It is now apparent that the proposed cigarette tax to fund the states medicaid system won't pass the Oklahoma House which is planning on a reduced cut to the states Medicaid agency instead.

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State Revenues Continue to Drop

Posted by Bob Sands on

For the 19th month in a row, state revenues have fallen below income at the same time a year earlier. For September, gross receipts dropped almost 10% compared to the same month last year. The last time September collections were lower was in 2010.

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Big Dip in Sales Tax Income Hits the State Budget

Posted by Bob Sands on

The flow of money into the states' main operating account against failed to make the official estimate. July contributions to the General Revenue Fund were down by more than $17-million. July figures were also down 11 percent compared to the same month a year ago. Lagging sales tax income gets most of the blame which also confirms the states economy is still stuck in a recession.

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Oklahoma Unemployment Continues to Increase

Posted by Bob Sands on

State lawmakers used to brag about Oklahoma's low unemployment rate. Last month that rate came in at 4.7 percent tied with the national rate. The number of jobless is up by 10,000 workers with more than 7,000 dropping out of the work force. The bright spot for workers were job increases in education and health services and the construction industry.

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Budget Rebates may be in Order

Posted by Bob Sands on

The budget cuts because of mid-year revenue failures in state government tax collections went too deep, leaving the state with a fiscal year end surplus. It now stands at over $166-million dollars but will likely finish the current fiscal year around $120-million. That means state agencies budgets will get some money back. How much is not yet known

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State Revenues Continue to Fall

Posted by Bob Sands on

Revenue collections at the state treasury last month hit a six year low. State Treasurer Ken Miller says every major revenue stream for state government came in lower than expected. That is the 9th month in a row that gross receipts to the state treasury were lower than the same time a year ago.

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Oklahoma Senate Votes to Dump Energy Tax

Posted by Bob Sands on

By a wide margin, the Oklahoma Senate approved a bill to end the tax break for "at risk oil wells". The OIPA was backing a proposal to cap the tax break at $25-million a year but the senate bill eliminated the tax break all together and made it retro-active to the first of this year. If the House approves, that would bring in an estimated $133-million dollars a year.

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More Mid-Year Budget Cuts Unlikely

Posted by Bob Sands on

The flow of tax money to the states General Fund, the one that pays most of the bills, again missed the estimate by a long shot. April fund contributions came in 12.8% below what was expected or $89.4 million. But state Finance Director Preston Doerflinger says he thinks there is enough cushion in the fund to avoid any more cuts to state agency budgets.

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April was a Bad Month for Oklahoma Tax Collections

Posted by Bob Sands on

Gross receipts to the state treasury last month were the lowest in four years. Every tax income category was down. For the last 12 months the state lost $846-million compared to the previous 12 month period. Gross production tax collections on oil and gas are now at a 17 year low.

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Grocery Store Wine Petition Invalid

Posted by Bob Sands on

An initiative petition to put on a statewide ballot a proposal to allow wine sales in grocery stores has been ruled invalid by the Oklahoma Supreme Court. The court ruled held the petition's written explanation failed to provide enough information for voters to make an informed decision.

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Moody's Says Oklahoma's Economy Will Face More Problems

Posted by Bob Sands on

Tax cuts, tax breaks and slumping oil prices spell more pain for Oklahoma's economy according to Moody's Investor Service. According to Moody's Global Credit Research report , " Moody's expects government entities with significant exposure to oil prices to respond to revenue shortfalls with budget cuts and reserve spending during the ongoing downturn."

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Mental Health Warns 73,000 Will Lose Services

Posted by Bob Sands on

Forced to make more budget cuts like the rest of state government, Oklahoma's mental health agency says it will trim another $13-million from this years budget. The cuts will reduce funding for contracted mental health and substance abuse services, cuts for provider networks and cuts to mental health inpatient care.

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State Income Misses the Mark Again

Posted by Bob Sands on

The money that keeps state government operating missed it's estimated mark last month by 18%. Compared to the same time a year ago, tax revenues flowing to the General Revenue Fund fell by 25%.

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Another Cut for State Agencies

Posted by Bob Sands on

The 3 percent budget cut a few weeks ago has been enlarged to 7 percent as the states financial condition continues to worsen. The budget cuts actually amounts to 18 percent because the budget cut is annualized, in other words it's money taken from a full years budget but over the last four months of the fiscal year.

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