- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 10, 2016

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Revenue collections to Oklahoma’s main operating fund for state government continued to lag behind estimates last month, with much of the decline blamed on slumping sales tax collections, state finance officials said Wednesday.

The Office of Management and Enterprise Services released figures that show monthly collections to the General Revenue Fund in July, the first month of the new fiscal year, totaled $371.8 million. That amount is $17.2 million, or 4.4 percent, below the official estimate and more than 11 percent below collections from the same month last year.

Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger said that although collections were lower than projected, the revenue decline isn’t as bad as previous months.

“July was a down month on its face, but it was an improvement in comparison to the even bigger declines seen over the past several months,” Doerflinger said in a statement.

Doerflinger said the bulk of the drop was caused by slumping sales tax collections, which missed the estimate by $12.5 million, or 7.5 percent. Collections also trailed those from the same month last year by $14.1 million, or 8.4 percent.

Overall income tax collections last month totaled $152.6 million, which was less than 1 percent below the estimate, while gross production tax collections on oil and natural gas were $7.7 million, which was nearly 8 percent above the estimate. Tax collections on motor vehicle sales were $15.6 million, which was nearly 14 percent below the estimate.

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