Politics and the Gross Production Tax Hike Proposal

When House Democrats fought the budget plans for GOP leaders of the Oklahoma legislature, one of their goals was an increase in the Oklahoma Gross Production Tax. However in light of new talks, such an increase might not be included in what Democratic leader Scott Inman wants.

Tax increases were reportedly discussed in renewed talks necessitated by the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling that struck down a $1.50-a pack-cigarette tax. Faced with a new budget hole of more than $200 million, the Governor and Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate started renewed budget talks.

A published by the McCarville Report indicated a proposed $1 billion revenue increase agreement had been reached. The story also claimed that it did not include any increase in the gross production tax on oil and natural gas production.

But quickly, Republican legislative leaders shot down the report with House Speaker Charles McCall stating “there is no way House Republicans will ever pass a billion dollar in tax and revenue increases.” He quickly downplayed what the McCarville Report claimed to have in documentation.

Rep. Inman, now a candidate for Governor, charged House Leadership had leaked the documents to the McCarville Report. That prompted House Majority leader Mike Sanders to respond.

“Scott Inman can’t have it both ways. He claims House Leadership is not communicating with him, yet he has not returned a phone call from Speaker Charles McCall from last week nor has he replied to a letter from the Speaker from three weeks ago,” said Sanders. “If House Dems think they can raise $1 billion in new taxes, they are not living in reality. Mr. Inman and his caucus are not going to raise taxes on Oklahomans by $1 billion and they know it.”