- Associated Press - Monday, December 8, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Declining oil prices could cost Oklahoma residents an income tax cut in 2016.

A law signed in April by Gov. Mary Fallin requires for the cut to take effect an increase in state revenue, provided in part by tax collections that rise and fall with oil prices.

Fallin made cutting the state’s individual income tax one of her top legislative priorities during last year’s session, which was a talking point during her re-election campaign.

It’s unclear whether the state will see the needed revenue growth, Secretary of Finance and Revenue Preston Doerflinger told The Oklahoman (https://bit.ly/1sclUvL ). Fallin said last week she hopes the decreasing oil and gas prices will be temporary.

Collections from the gross production tax on oil and natural gas dropped in November for the first time in 19 months - down by about $3.7 million or 5.3 percent compared to November 2013.

The Oklahoma Board of Equalization will meet later this month to estimate state revenue for the 2016 fiscal year, which begins July 1. Its prediction will determine whether there will be enough money to activate the income tax reduction under the state law.

If the state panel estimates revenue higher than the 2014 fiscal year estimate, the top state income tax rate would be cut from 5.25 percent to 5 percent. But state officials who made the 2014 forecast guessed too high, as revenue was nearly 5 percent lower than predicted.

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Information from: The Oklahoman, https://www.newsok.com

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