State Rep. Mark McBride, Journal Record – It’s a tough year at the state Legislature. Lawmakers are wrestling with a historic budget shortfall and every Tom, Dick and Harry that walks through the Capitol doors has a plan to put us on the road to riches.
Many of those plans include an increase in the state’s gross production tax, the money paid on every barrel of oil and mcf of natural gas produced in the state. Lawmakers are told doing so will end the deficit, fund a pay raise for teachers and all but line Lincoln Boulevard with gold.
Now, like Paul Harvey used to say, it’s time to hear the rest of the story.
Oklahoma’s oil and natural gas industry pays approximately 25 percent of all taxes used to support government services in this state. The income tax oil-field workers pay, corporate taxes paid by Oklahoma companies and the sales tax on goods and services purchased in the oil field account for 75 percent of the industry’s tax contributions.
By increasing gross production taxes, we only decrease the motivation for new wells to be drilled in our state. Drilling rigs are mobile, and when the rate of return is greater in Texas or New Mexico or Colorado, drilling rigs will go there, taking the jobs and the tax revenue they generate with them.
Read the full story at the Journal Record.