- Associated Press - Monday, February 20, 2017

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma revenue officials are likely to declare a revenue failure when a state board meets Tuesday to certify the amount of money lawmakers have to appropriate next year.

Preliminary figures from the Office of Management and Enterprise Services indicate that collections by the general revenue fund are projected to fall 5.7 percent below estimates for the fiscal year ending June 30.

Finance officials are forced to declare a revenue failure when collections fall more than 5 percent below estimates. Following such a declaration, the Oklahoma Constitution requires that funds allocated to state agencies be reduced by the amount necessary to bring spending into balance with actual revenue collections.

OMES’s proposed revenue certification for the fiscal year that begins July 1 indicates revenue growth will not be sufficient to trigger an individual income tax cut scheduled to go into effect in 2018.

The tax rate is scheduled to drop from 5 percent to 4.85 percent when collections increase by about $100 million a year, enough to pay for the tax cut. The state faces an estimated budget hole of about $870 million next year.

Michael Baker, a spokesman for OMES, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment Monday.

The Board of Equalization, which includes Gov. Mary Fallin and six other elected and appointed state officials, is scheduled to meet Tuesday to certify revenue for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Revenue collections to the general revenue fund - state government’s main operating fund - have trailed official estimates in recent months.

Collections in January were 3.4 percent below projections, and collections were 2.8 percent below the official estimate for the first seven months of the fiscal year.


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