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Oklahoma House Passes Temporary Tax Increase on Oil & Gas Industry

Flickr / texasbackroads

The Oklahoma House of Representatives has passed a bill raising the gross production tax from one percent to four percent on a small, select group of oil wells.

By a vote of 68 to 30 on Tuesday morning, lawmakers passed House Bill 2429, which affects less than 6,000 wells drilled between July of 2011 and July of 2015.

But, some Democrats, like Oklahoma City Rep. Collin Walke, are calling the bill unconstitutional.

"As we all know, the Oklahoma Constitution prohibits revenue-raising measures in the last five days of session. You can call it what you want. If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, it's a duck! And this is a revenue-raising measure."

Meanwhile, Rep. Kevin Wallace (R-Wellston), a co-author of the bill, claims it does not increase the state rate for gross production tax, but rather modifies an incentive for the oil and gas industry.

Legislators have until 5 p.m. Friday to pass a balanced budget and account for a $878 million loss is general revenue.

Ryan LaCroix is the Director of Content and Audience Development for KOSU.
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