Taxes make up less than half (41 percent) of state and local revenue. This section describes the major sources of revenue for Oklahoma government, considering not only taxes, but fees (user charges), intergovernmental revenues, and other sources. The graph below compares Oklahoma revenue on a per-person basis to national averages.
Oklahoma’s revenue mix is similar to the national average but Oklahoma total per capita collections are lower from most sources. An average Oklahoman paid $1,498 less in taxes, $160 less in user charges, and $332 less in insurance trusts (workers compensation, retirement and unemployment) than the average American. Intergovernmental (federal) revenues per person were slightly below the national average as well. Altogether, the average Oklahoman paid $8,361 for government services, which was $2,168, or 21 percent, less than the average American.
You can click the links at the bottom of this page for more detail on Oklahoma’s tax, federal, and user charge revenues. This section describes highlights of all other non-tax revenue sources.
- Government utilities collect approximately $2 billion in charges each year. About one-third of this revenue is collected by state agencies, largely the Grand River Dam Authority. Local governments also collect utility revenues. Water supplies (both city water systems and rural water districts) collect about two-thirds of all local government utility charges in Oklahoma, and are followed by collections of publicly-owned electric utilities, gas utilities, and public transit systems.
- Insurance trusts collect approximately $1 billion per year for employee retirement systems and the state unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation systems.
- Other revenue, totaling $3.1 billion, consists of interest earnings, sale of property, rental income, fines, state receipts from the tobacco settlement, and hundreds of other minor sources.
The Oklahoma Lottery is one highly visible item that falls in the “Other Revenue” category. Voters approved the lottery in 2004 and it began in 2005. After paying prizes (58 percent) and administrative costs (14 percent), 29 percent of lottery proceeds ($63 million) were left to pay for education purposes in FY 2018. Of the first $50 million in profits, 45 percent is used for K-12 and preschool programs and 45 percent for higher education and other post-secondary education, and five percent each is reserved for school consolidation and the Teachers Retirement Fund. Profits above $50 million are allocated to reading and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs.
In 2017 the Legislature increased the share of lottery for prizes in hopes of increasing sales enough to generate more revenue for education. In FY 2018, total sales were 28 percent higher than FY 2015, and education funding increased 5 percent in the same period.