State leaders to borrow $31 million to keep agencies afloat after latest drop in collections

OKLAHOMA CITY – State leaders say they will need to borrow funds in order to keep Oklahoma agencies afloat following the latest drop in collections.

On Tuesday, officials announced that the General Revenue Fund collections in March were 9 percent below the monthly estimate. As a result, about $31 million will need to be borrowed from other funds so state agencies can receive their allotments.

“We’ve been forced to do this several times this fiscal year to avoid deeper cuts to agencies and keep government operating,” said Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology Preston L. Doerflinger. “We will be looking to April collections and other upcoming months to make up the difference and reconcile the borrowed funds as we are statutorily and constitutionally required to do.”

Officials say that corporate income tax collections were entirely consumed by refunds and contributed nothing to the General Revenue Fund for the sixth consecutive month. For the same month last year, $44 million was deposited by corporate income taxes into the General Revenue Fund.

While total collections are currently within 5 percent of the estimate, further cuts to state agencies aren’t necessary yet.

However, cuts are still possible depending on future collections.

“If the fourth quarter declines more than expected, agencies should be prepared for deeper cuts,” Doerflinger said. “As I’ve said several times, it’s is absolutely necessary that the Legislature take a serious look at ways to raise recurring revenue and keep from doing more harm.”

So far, officials say $240.7 million has already been borrowed from the Rainy Day Fund, which is now temporarily empty.

The $31 million that is needed will be borrowed from other funds.