Jan 6 Gross receipts collected during 2016 by
Oklahoma's Treasury shrank 7.4 percent from the prior year as
weak oil and natural gas prices weighed on the state's finances,
officials said on Friday.
Last year's revenue of $10.78 billion was the lowest
12-month total since January 2012. Like other states dependent
on energy tax revenues, Oklahoma is struggling amid sustained
low oil and gas prices, which contribute to a state unemployment
rate that is higher than the national average.
"Gross receipts to the Treasury show the ongoing impact of
the prolonged downturn in the energy industry on all four major
revenue streams," state Treasurer Ken Miller said.
Those revenue streams include oil and gas production,
income, sales and motor vehicle taxes.
"However, the overall rate of decline has slowed during each
of the past three months as oil and gas gross production
collections have shown moderate increases," Miller said.
For a third consecutive month, collections from oil and gas
production taxes were higher in December than the same month of
the prior year. December gross production receipts total $39.4
million, up 4.4 percent from December 2015.
U.S. crude prices hovered near 18-month highs on Friday
after closing at $53.99 a barrel on the New York Mercantile
Last month, local media said Oklahoma's budget deficit was
set to come in at $868 million this year, higher than previous
estimates due to low oil prices, tax cuts and corporate tax
In 2014, the collapse of oil prices contributed to a massive
$1.3 billion budget deficit, which led the state to declare
"revenue failure" in 2015, which triggered automatic
across-the-board spending cuts.
The Republican-controlled state legislature earlier this
year passed a series of reforms backed by Governor Mary Fallin
to Oklahoma's bulging prison system aimed at reducing costs, but
balked at her proposal to approve a new tobacco tax and other
(Reporting by Rory Carroll; Editing by Leslie Adler)