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Oklahoma gross receipts at record high but expected to fall

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Kim Jarrett

(The Center Square) - Declining gas prices are good news for consumers but not so good for the state of Oklahoma. 

November's gross receipt collections were at a record high for the sixth-consecutive month, up more than $17 billion from November 2021, State Treasurer Randy McDaniel said Friday. But oil and gas tax collections dropped below $160 million. That's the first time it's happened since April, according to McDaniel's report. 

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"While lower fuel prices at the pump are providing needed relief for consumers, the slowdown in demand and drop in commodity prices will impact collections in the future," McDaniel said. 

The decreasing oil prices were not the only concern in the November report. The monthly Oklahoma Business Conditions Index, produced by Creighton University, fell below 50 for the first time since November 2020, according to a report from the Treasury Department. The index was at 51.3 in October and dropped to 39.8 in October. This could indicate an "economic contraction during the next three to six months," according to the report. 

The economic news for Oklahoma was not entirely dismal. Sales and use tax collections outpace inflation, rising 10.5 percent in November when compared to last year. 

Gross income tax collections were up 9.5 percent to just over $369 million. Individual income tax collections were up 11 percent, but corporate collections decreased by 13.6 percent. 

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Gross revenue is also up 16.8 percent to $17.36 billion over the last 12 months, according to the report. 

Oklahoma's unemployment rate rose in October from 3.2 percent in September to 3.4 percent in October, which is still below the national average of 3.7 percent. Oklahoma's unemployment rate year-over-year jumped from 2.9 percent in October 2021 to 3.4 percent in October 2022, but a new influx of job seekers is likely a factor for the spike, state labor officials said.

November's numbers are also expected to be higher than 2021 numbers, according to Trae Rahill, executive director for the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.