For the second straight month, gross receipts to the Oklahoma Treasury were up more than 30% from a year earlier.
May collections of more than $1.2 billion were 34% higher than what came in during May 2020. April collections of almost $1.5 billion were up 38% from April 2020.
State Treasurer Randy McDaniel said sales and use tax collections in May were up 26% from May 2020, and people buying things is a sign of improved economic activity.
"We’ve had a year of pent-up demand, and we’re starting to see things open, and people are responding very positively as they get back and enjoy their new freedom and an economy where they’re ready to get out and live and spend money. And it’s helping not only the local businesses across the state, but also receipts to the treasury," McDaniel said.
Combined receipts for the past 12 months hit an all-time high of nearly $13.9 billion. McDaniel said while things are looking good, there are a couple categories to watch. One is income tax collections, which are artificially high because of delayed filing deadlines.
"You also have the oil and gas industry. It’s great to see not only things stabilizing, but commodity price improvement that’s leading to more robust activity and a lot of hope out there. But that’s still a volatile industry," McDaniel said.
McDaniel says Oklahoma’s unemployment rate is an encouraging sign for the state’s economy. In April, it was 4.3%. A year ago, it was 13%.