Oklahoma Economic Woes

Oklahoma City, OK – Thought 2009 was bad? As of July, '10 may be worse

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Oklahoma was on shaky financial ground when it closed the books on its 2009 fiscal year following six straight months of declining revenue amid a spiraling economy and plummeting energy prices.

If the first month of the new fiscal year is any indication, the state will face far worse in 2010.

Tax revenue collections totaled nearly $337 million in July a drop of more than $120 million, or about 26 percent, from July 2008. The total also was more than $74 million, or 18 percent, below what the state expected.

State officials responded by ordering a 5 percent across-the-board cut in state agencies' August budgets, even though 7 percent cuts already hit most agencies on July 1.

Jobs have already been cut by at least two agencies, and others have indicated they may be forced to do the same.

A monthly revenue report prepared by state Treasurer Scott Meacham's office indicates the state's revenue forecast may be even bleaker in the coming months.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.