State revenue growth slowed to almost a standstill in September, Treasurer Randy McDaniel said Thursday.
McDaniel said gross receipts to the treasury grew only 0.3% over the same month a year ago, the smallest increase in 2½ years. The slowdown was attributed to a sharp drop in oil and gas tax collections and a slight decline in sales tax payments.
Income and use tax receipts were up, McDaniel said.
Gross receipts to the treasury are all taxes paid to the state, including those collected on behalf of local governments.
Thus, the slowdown in sales tax receipts may be a portent of tough times for Oklahoma’s towns and cities, which rely heavily on sales tax revenue for operations.
September gross receipts totaled $1.16 billion, or $3.8 million more than for September 2018.
Individual and corporate incomes taxes were $430.8 million for the month, an increase of 5.1% from a year ago.
The state’s second-largest revenue source — and the largest for municipalities — were down 0.3% at $408.1 million. That was offset by 6.4% increase in use tax collections.
Use taxes are collected on out-of-state and online purchases. In September they accounted for just under $60 million.
Oil and gas taxes, always volatile, were down 30% from a year ago. At $73.8 million, these taxes are a relatively small share of revenue but are considered an important leading indicator because of the industry’s outsized impact on the economy.
“On a positive note, gross receipts to the treasury show improvement continues with stable expansion in income, motor vehicle, and use tax receipts,” McDaniel said in a news release. “However, the report also indicates that growth in the state’s economy has leveled off in recent months primarily due to a decline in oil field activity.”