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Oklahoma October tax receipts indicate continuing economic expansion

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Kimberly James | The Center Square contributor

(The Center Square) – Oklahoma's October gross tax receipts were in the double digits again, signifying continued economic growth.

"The recent revenue growth along with the low unemployment rate shows Oklahoma is heading in the right direction," Curtis Shelton, Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA)’s Policy Research Fellow, said. "Governor Kevin Stitt along with Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat and House Speaker Charles McCall kept the state relatively open throughout the pandemic, positioning the state to capture all this growth once the economy began to pick up."

Gross tax receipts totaled $1.27 billion, a 16% increase over the same time last year.

State Treasurer Randy McDaniel attributes growth to rising oil and natural gas prices, according to The Tulsa World. For the third consecutive month, oil and gas tax revenue exceeded $100 million.

Income and sales taxes also grew rapidly year-over-year. These are the state's two largest income sources. Sales tax receipts were $529.1 million, a 15% increase over the same time last year. Use taxes were $76.9 million, rising more than 20%. Income taxes came in nearly 10% higher than the same time last year, totaling $414.4 million.

"The data also shows Oklahoma could benefit from continued pro-growth tax reform," Shelton said. "Eliminating Oklahoma’s penalty on work would help Oklahoma compete with states like Texas, Tennessee, and Florida which do not have an income tax and have subsequently seen billions in economic growth over the last decade."

Tax reform continues to be a hot issue as varying proposed bills have the potential to dramatically impact the state's revenue sources.

"Oklahoma must find a way to stabilize its revenue base as the federal government continues to push a climate agenda that would make Oklahoma’s already volatile reliance on oil and gas revenue even more unstable," Shelton said. "Moving to a consumption-based tax model with a larger reliance on the sales tax and less on the income tax would continue to move the state in right direction."