State budget for fiscal year 2014 projected to increase by $214 million
BY BARBARA HOBEROCK World Capitol Bureau
Thursday, December 20, 2012
12/28/12 at 3:14 PM
This story originally incorrectly reported the amount in the state’s “rainy day” fund. The story has been corrected.
OKLAHOMA CITY - Lawmakers and Gov. Mary Fallin will have $214.6 million more to spend in crafting the fiscal year 2014 budget, Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger said Wednesday.
The Equalization Board meets Thursday to certify funds available for appropriation. Lawmakers will return to the Capitol in February to craft a budget for fiscal year 2014.
The Equalization Board will meet again in February to make a second estimate, which will be used in negotiations between Fallin and lawmakers in determining appropriations.
Doerflinger said the state budget for 2014 will be $7 billion, or 3.1 percent more than fiscal year 2013. It would be the first time in five years that the state would have an appropriation authority of $7 billion, Doerflinger said.
The $214.6 million increase is the result of revenue increases, mainly in sales and income taxes, but was hurt by a drop in revenue from gross production taxes on natural gas and oil.
"This isn't your typical certification because of the uncertainty surrounding the 'fiscal cliff,' " Doerflinger said. "National events could change the equation down the road, so we must proceed cautiously as we begin building the state budget.
"Nonetheless, the figures we're seeing are encouraging and indicative of a state economy that's been on a strong roll for more than two years now."
Part of the increase in funds likely will have to go to pay for reforms at the Department of Human Services, Doerflinger said.
The state expects to have a personal income tax revenue increase of $121.1 million, of which $61 million would be a result of the fiscal cliff, where taxes are expected to increase unless Congress and President Barack Obama reach an agreement.
"Because we are required to base projections on existing law, estimates the Equalization Board will consider on Thursday are linked to the tax structure that would exist if the president and Congress go over the fiscal cliff," Doerflinger said. "That event would repeal the Bush tax cuts for individuals and businesses and raise all federal tax brackets.
"Oklahomans would be hit with a double-whammy because state income tax withholding rates would also go up. That is because Oklahoma's income tax laws are tied to the federal system of allowable deductions and credits."
The state's "rainy day" fund is expected to top $600 million for the first time in history, Doerflinger said. The fund has $577.5 million now, and estimates indicate that $66.4 million more will be deposited, he said.
State agencies have requested $1.4 billion more for fiscal year 2014 than what was appropriated in the current fiscal year, Doerflinger said.
Fiscal year 2014
Original Print Headline: State seen having $214 million more to spend
- Projected state appropriation authority for the fiscal year: $7 billion
- Increase: $214.6 million or 3.1 percent
- Projected "rainy day" fund: $643.9 million
Barbara Hoberock 405-528-2465