Texas faring better than Oklahoma amid oil slump

By John Suayan

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar reports that sales tax revenues last month netted a record $3.18 billion.

Oklahoma Treasurer Randy McDaniel, meanwhile, reports that the Sooner State recorded its first drop in total monthly receipts in more than two and a half years.

Both states have experienced the sluggish effects of downturns in the oil and gas sectors, but Texas has fared better because of its more diverse economy.

November marked the second time this year in which the Lone Star State collected more than $3 billion from sales tax collections. The first time was in May, to the tune of $3.01 billion.

According to Hegar, the wholesale trade, construction and restaurant sectors buoyed November’s record growth while the oil and gas mining sector yielded lower collections.

Natural gas production tax revenue, which was close to $120 billion last year, fell 33.1 percent in a year’s span. Oil production tax income experienced a dip of around two percent.

The comptroller additionally attributed the increase in the state’s sales tax revenue collections to remote sellers and online marketplace providers, in accordance with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, and the passage of House Bill 1525 during the 86th Texas Legislature.

Texas has no state income tax, so sales taxes are the largest source of funding for the state budget.

Oklahoma’s November total monthly collections were $989.7 million, a four percent drop from last year.

According to McDaniel’s office, lower sales tax and oilfield tax collections led to the decrease. Acknowledging the recent job losses in the energy sector, the treasurer said that his heart goes out to the families affected.

Halliburton, which is headquartered in Houston, laid off more than 800 workers in the Oklahoma town of El Reno.

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