Simply Dismal: Budget gap should spur look at improved forecasting

Everyone knew it would be bad. Could we have known it would be this bad?  Nearly one year ago, in February of 2009,  several months after the national economic recession finally hit Oklahoma, the Board of Equalization certified an official… Read more [More...]

Déjà Vu All Over Again: funding essential services

Well, it happened again. This month Leadership OK (LOK) was in McAlester instead of in Muskogee, but there was something familiar about what we heard and how the class reacted. Last month, after a presentation by Neal McCaleb, President of… Read more [More...]

Learning from the crisis (3): Putting multi-year revenue commitments on hold

On January 1st, tax cuts with a revenue impact exceeding $100 million, which include the full repeal of the state’s estate tax and a steep increase in the standard deduction, will take effect in Oklahoma.  Do these tax cuts reflect… Read more [More...]

Learning from the crisis (2): Strengthening our reserve funds

As state leaders struggle to find solutions to this year’s revenue shortfalls and funding gaps, it is not too soon to draw lessons from the current state fiscal crisis to design policies that will allow us to respond better the… Read more [More...]

Learning from the crisis (1): More frequent and better forecasting can help guide a path

As state leaders struggle with how to manage the enormous budget shortfalls the state faces this year and next, the focus is understandably on decisions that must be made over the coming weeks and months.  But while short-term challenges are… Read more [More...]

State revenues: The storm may be subsiding but the forecast remains bleak

The latest monthly budget release (PDF) from Treasurer Scott Meacham provided some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that October revenues fell well short of projections, as they have in each month of the current fiscal… Read more [More...]

Tax cuts and consequences

Plunging state tax collections are wreaking havoc on the state budget and having increasingly painful effects on public services in Oklahoma. Initial estimates were for tax collections for the current year, FY ‘10, to be more than $600 million below… Read more [More...]

Continuing bleak revenue collections provide no easy solutions

Yesterday’s announcement of state revenue collections for September marked the end of a truly dismal quarter. Collections for the 1st quarter of FY ’10 were 29.5 percent below the first three months of FY ’09. The graph below shows that… Read more [More...]

Non-profits and advocates gather to size up budget situation

Last week, OK Policy convened a meeting of over 30 representatives of non-profit and advocacy organizations to discuss the state’s budget situation. We begin with a presentation on budget trends and outlooks, which can be viewed on our website; the… Read more [More...]