Still I wonder, who’ll start the rain?

One of the relatively pleasant side effects of tax increases:

Officials say Oklahoma expects to deposit a record $370 million in its fund created to protect the state during economic downturns.

The Tulsa World reports that the state is expected to announce the actual deposit amount for the Rainy Day Fund in August.

Office of Management and Enterprise Services spokeswoman Shelley Zumwalt says the state hasn’t made a deposit to the fund in the last four fiscal years. Oklahoma deposited a record $326 million into the fund in fiscal 2012.

The Rainy Day Fund was created in 1985 for an emergency, to make up for a shortfall in fiscal year collections and to make up revenue if next year’s general revenue fund collections are forecast to be less than the current year. Zumwalt says the fund currently has about $70 million.

Yeah, but some of us remember this from 2011:

Nothing quite as comforting as having almost a quarter-billion to spare. Then again, it wasn’t so long ago — 2009, specifically — that there was almost $600 million stashed away in what is officially called the Constitutional Reserve Fund. Unlike some other governments we could name, Oklahoma isn’t allowed to run a deficit, so the Fund was repeatedly raided, and the balance dropped to $2.03. That’s two dollars and three cents, which won’t get you so much as a footlong cheese coney from Sonic.

There is apparently a statutory cap on the Fund: $756 million.


  1. fillyjonk »

    26 July 2018 · 3:27 pm

    What happens when it hits that cap? They have to start paying corrections officers better?

  2. CGHill »

    26 July 2018 · 5:29 pm

    Wouldn’t that be swell? But I don’t think they’ve ever gotten within about $50 million of that cap.

  3. McGehee »

    26 July 2018 · 5:55 pm

    Having a legislature with the discipline to let that money pile up, rather than find excuses to spend it when “a rainy day” is re-defined as “the dewpoint just rose by one-tenth of a degree” — that’s the trick.

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