- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 5, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Falling crude oil prices could darken an otherwise bright revenue picture for Oklahoma, the state treasurer said Wednesday.

The state’s collections rose in October by almost 4 percent over those in the same month last year, and receipts over the past 12 month set another record, growing by almost five percent, Treasurer Ken Miller said.

“Oklahoma’s economy continues its steady expansion,” Miller said, adding that his office is monitoring falling crude oil prices worldwide and the impact such softer prices could have on the state’s revenue forecast.

October gross production collections were based on activity in August, when the average price of a barrel of crude oil was more than $96, Miller said. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported the price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil closed Tuesday at about $77 per barrel.

“It’s something that we’ll watch,” Miller said. He said energy prices usually rise during the winter because of higher demand for fuel to heat homes and businesses.

Collections from oil and natural gas production last month exceeded October 2013 collections by only one-tenth of one percent, reflecting the lower prices, Miller said. Over the past year, gross revenue on oil and natural gas production has risen by almost 15 percent.

Miller said gross receipts for October totaled about $1 billion, up 3.7 percent from October 2013. But corporate income tax collections were down more than 44 percent last month, he said, and the twelve-month collections declined by almost $74 million.

“Corporate income tax tends to be one of the more volatile of Oklahoma’s revenue sources due to many unique characteristics involving strategic business decisions on retained earnings, dividend payments, loss carryovers and credits,” Miller said.

Meanwhile, personal income tax collections last month totaled almost $317 million, up almost 2 percent from the prior year, he said.

Sales tax collections, including collections remitted to the state by cities and towns, totaled almost $376 million in October, 6.3 percent above October 2013.

Miller said total gross receipts for the past 12 months are within striking distance of topping $12 billion.

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