Oklahoma's new fiscal year is off to a good start, according to the latest revenue report from the Office of State Finance. That's a good sign for the Oklahoma economy, according to a Senate budget leader.
"It's always nice to start a new fiscal year off with a bang. It indicates the economic growth and good times we've experienced in recent years are continuing," said Senator Kelly Haney, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Senator Haney was referring to the June revenue collection report issued by the Office of State Finance this week. July is the first month of the new fiscal year in Oklahoma.
According to the report, tax collections increased by $11.8 million in June, a 4.2 percent increase over the same period last year and about one-percent above the estimate.
The latest report continues a series of revenue successes posted during the just concluded Fiscal Year '97. The state was able to make a record deposit to its rainy day fund last month because of the larger-than-expected revenue collections.
"It's no accident that we're setting revenue records month after month. Our success is a direct result of the economic policies we enacted in the wake of the oil bust. Because it took a few years for those policies to bear fruit, we're just now reaping the benefits of the changes we made in the early 1990's," said Senator Haney.
"All of the people who had a hand in those changes deserve a pat on the back."
Specifically, Senator Haney pointed to the Education Reform Act approved in 1990 and the Quality Jobs Program approved in 1993 as the two most significant economic development tools approved in Oklahoma in the last decade.
"We proved that we were serious about building an educated workforce and rewarding companies that located or expanded here. Those two policy decisions have paid off substantially," said Senator Haney.