It is apparent that the complaints from Oklahoma’s oil and gas industry about a hike in the gross production tax on oil and gas are falling on deaf ears at the State Capitol.
Following passage of House Bill 1035X on Monday in the State Senate, Gov. Mary Fallin issued a statement in which she applauded the Republican and Democratic members who passed it.
“It is time to bring this session to an end. It is time to address the concerns of the people of Oklahoma, and to show them that leadership at the Capitol will get the job done and will take care of their fellow Oklahomans.”
Despite the fact the bill includes an increase in the gross production tax, the Governor said it addresses the $215 million budget hole. She also said it will bring more stability to the budget going forward for next year and provides a path for success for the state.
“I’m hoping now that the House of Representatives will put this measure on the board and vote for it one way or the other,” said Fallin.
She also used a negative credit warning from Moody’s Investors Service to urge the House to give quick approval.
“The Legislature’s inability to pass a permanent solution to our budget challenge has resulted in Moody’s one of the nation’s top rating agencies, giving Oklahoma a ‘credit negative’ outlook which will hurt investment by businesses that are considering to expand in or move to our state.”
Otherwise, the governor said drastic across-the-board cuts for all state agencies are not out of the question.
“I have warned lawmakers for the past three years that we need to address our budget’s structural deficits instead of continuing to kick the can down the road by depleting available cash and using one-time funds,” said Gov. Fallin.