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Equalization Board Certifies General Revenue Drop But Larger Total Budget After 2021 Law Changes

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The Oklahoma State Board of Equalization on Monday voted on its final certification of funds for fiscal year 2022, anticipating impacts of changes made in the recently adjourned legislative session.

The board certified an FY22 revenue estimate of $6.9 billion and appropriations authority of nearly $6.6 billion, both down 2.1% from the February estimate. The decline was driven by a nearly $148 million drop in projected general revenue, the result of law changes that will affect collections of sales, tobacco, individual and corporate income, mixed beverage, and premium taxes.

Those anticipated changes in tax collections also led the board to certify a more than $292 million decrease from February's estimate for the 1017 fund, a dedicated fund for the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

Despite those declines, the board certified a total expenditure authority of $9.9 billion for FY22, up 3.2% from February. That increase was driven by a law change making the Rebuilding Oklahoma Access and Driver Safety Fund, which dedicates revenue for highway maintenance and repair, an authorized fund. That added $575 million to the balance sheet. The board's certification also included an additional $57 million in cash and $128 million in additional revolving fund appropriations.

During the legislative session, lawmakers appropriated less than $9.1 billion, meaning the state now has $884 million in unspent funds.

“Oklahoma’s economic future has never looked brighter,” Gov. Kevin Stitt, who chairs the equalization board, said in a statement. “I am proud of the decisions we made with the Legislature during the 2021 legislative session to ensure that money is returned to the taxpayer via tax cuts for all Oklahomans while also replenishing our state reserves and cash to a record $1.3 billion.”

The governor's office said a final determination on a deposit to state savings accounts will be made after the state fiscal year ends June 30.

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