Oklahoma finance officials predict $868 million budget hole

American dollars, Photo: tOrange.us / CC BY-SA 4.0

American dollars, Photo: tOrange.us / CC BY-SA 4.0

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma’s Secretary of Finance says the hole in next year’s budget is expected to be about $868 million, or more than 12 percent of state spending, significantly more than Gov. Mary Fallin estimated last week.

Finance Secretary Preston Doerflinger released budget figures on Tuesday that also project state revenue collections won’t be enough to trigger a further cut in the state’s individual income tax rate from 5 percent to 4.85 percent.

The shortfall means that unless the Legislature comes up with new sources of revenue, like increased taxes, the state will have to make further cuts to services like public schools, health care and public safety.

Doerflinger is Fallin’s chief budget negotiator and says the governor’s estimate last week was made before final figures were calculated.