Fiscal year income, sales tax gains show growing economy
Secretary of Finance and Revenue Preston L. Doerflinger announced Wednesday that strong income and sales tax collection growth during the recently-ended fiscal year indicates continued economic expansion in Oklahoma despite steep declines in gross production tax collections.
“The sustained growth in income and sales tax collections is a key indicator that Oklahoma’s economy had another nice year and remains on solid footing going forward,” said Doerflinger, who is also director of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES). “It was a good revenue year that would have been even stronger if not for losses stemming from gross production tax changes passed in 2010.”
During Fiscal Year 2013, the General Revenue Fund (GRF) saw a $248.4 million gain in income and sales tax collections over FY 12 that helped offset a $208.9 million or 48.5 percent drop in oil and natural gas collections, according to a preliminary year-end GRF report for FY 13, the 12-month fiscal year between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013.
Long-lost pieces discovered at State Capitol during restoration
Nearly one hundred years after beautifully ornate light fixtures were installed in the Senate Chamber, 11 of the original 20 fixtures have been discovered in attic space above the sixth floor of the Capitol. The artifacts were discovered during the ongoing historic restoration of a large conference room on the fifth floor that had been divided up into small offices decades ago. In connection with the project, Senate Information Systems Director John Warren was moving computer cables above the fifth floor ceiling and happened to notice an opening to a long-forgotten part of the attic. That led to the discovery of the fixtures.
Dr. Bob Blackburn, Executive Director of the Oklahoma State Historical Society said a black and white photo of the chamber from 1918 helped confirm they were the original fixtures, or sconces. He said the discovery was important for the historic preservation of the State Capitol, the symbol of unity for Oklahoma.