Flawed trigger proposal language could create serious unintended problems

In addition to an immediate cut in the top income tax rate from 5.25 to 4.8 percent,  the tax plan agreed to last week by Governor Fallin and legislative leaders includes an automatic future tax cut tied tied to revenue… Read more [More...]

Quick Take: Rainy Day Fund basics

This is a revised and updated version of a page authored by Paul Shinn from OK Policy’s Online Budget Guide Oklahoma’s Rainy Day Fund helps protect against economic downturns. The Rainy Day Fund (formally known as the Constitutional Reserve Fund)… Read more [More...]

Quick Take: March revenue collections

Yesterday, State Finance Director Preston Doerflinger announced that March General Revenue (GR) collections came in 9.3 percent above March 2010 and 10.5 percent above the certified estimate.  This marked the 11th straight month that GR showed improvement over the prior… Read more [More...]

The three part test for tax credits – and the fourth part we should be asking

When we discuss government budgets, direct spending receives the most attention by far. Less noticed is the substantial expenditure on tax credits and incentives, what some have called the “submerged state.” That inattention may have allowed several unconstitutional measures to… Read more [More...]

State Revenues: One-third full or two-thirds empty?

Yesterday’s announcement of state General Revenue (GR) collections for the month of November showed that the state continues to recover only slowly and partially from the depths of the downturn. Outgoing State Treasurer Scott Meacham chose to highlight that November… Read more [More...]

Quick Take: Revenue collections recovering very slowly

The latest revenue collections announced today (PDF) by Treasurer Scott Meacham continue to confirm that while revenues are recovering from their precipitous drop during the worst of the downturn, the recovery is slow and far from complete. September’s General Revenue… Read more [More...]

Crisis or correction? Exploring the sharp swings in state spending

The recent history of state appropriations, displayed here from our FY ’11 Budget Highlights fact sheet, shows a  series of successive ups and downs: We see that the state appropriated budget for the current year, FY ’11, is 5.8 percent… Read more [More...]

The Rainy Day Fund debate: Not if, but when…and how much?

If state fiscal conditions can be likened to the weather, it’s been apparent for many months that Oklahoma is in the midst of a toad strangler of a rain, to borrow the Tulsa World’s colorful characterization. Going into the current… Read more [More...]

Cutting into the bone: Impact of falling revenues starting to be felt

Anyone hoping for signs that the state’s budget woes had already hit bottom found little to cheer in Tuesday’s  revenue announcement [PDF] from Treasurer Scott Meacham. August General Revenue (GR) collections came in nearly 32 percent below one year ago.… Read more [More...]

August budget cuts by agency: not quite across-the-board

As a follow-up to our earlier post about the announced cuts to state agencies resulting from the shortfall in July revenue collections, we have prepared a spreadsheet that shows how much of a cut each agency will receive in dollar… Read more [More...]