AP News

Oil, natural gas collections boost Okla. revenue

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Increases in oil and natural gas gross production taxes in August gave a boost to Oklahoma revenue for the month, state Treasurer Ken Miller said Wednesday.

Revenue collections in August totaled $836 million, an increase of about $16 million from August 2012, and were lifted by gross production tax collections that have exceeded prior month collections for four consecutive months. In August, gross production receipts exceeded the prior year's numbers by more than 40 percent, Miller said.

"Oklahoma's economy, powered by the energy industry, continued to grow in August," Miller said. "At the same time, sales tax collections also climbed, but at a more modest pace than we've seen on average in the past year."

Miller said gross production collections are rising primarily due to higher energy prices than a year ago, when prices were near record lows. Reports show that as prices have risen, so have production volume and total collections.

Gross production taxes on oil and natural gas generated $66 million in August, an increase of $19 from last August.

Sales tax collections, including remittances on behalf of cities and counties, totaled about $363 million in August, about $6 million more than August 2012.

Gross income tax collections, including personal and corporate income taxes, generated $221 million, a decrease of almost $8 million from last year. Oklahoma's unemployment rate has increased for three consecutive months and was at 5.3 percent in July. That compares to the national unemployment rate of 7.4 percent.

Miller said that since September 2012, gross state revenue has totaled about $11 billion, $339 million or 3.1 percent higher than collections from the previous 12-month period.

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