The State Board of Equalization released last Wednesday its revenue certification for fiscal year 2020, which begins next July. If spending continued at its current pace, the budget for fiscal year 2020 is estimated to exceed the current budget by $612 million. This is not surprising after a year of record-breaking revenue collections for the state.
The last fiscal year, from July 2017 to June 2018, saw a record amount of revenue—$5.85 billion brought into the General Revenue Fund. This current fiscal year has already seen an increase of $314 million deposited into the General Revenue Fund compared to the same time last year.
Much of this growth is attributable to the growing state economy as the oil and gas industry bounced back from the multi-year recession, and the state economy boomed along with the national economy.
While this recovery is certainly good news, revenue increases due to economic good times must be met with caution. As Oklahoma has experienced in the recent past, good times are not always guaranteed. A focus on government reforms and prudent spending habits should still be the priority. Keeping state government from becoming a hindrance to Oklahoma’s economic growth will ensure Oklahoma is better prepared for the next economic downturn.