Oil and gas groups say Edmondson is foolish to talk about tax hikes

Democratic candidate for Governor Drew Edmondson didn’t find any supporters from the Oklahoma Oil and Gas Association and the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association for his call to raise the state’s gross production tax on oil and gas to a full 7 percent.

“OKOGA strongly opposes any effort to raise taxes on the oil and natural gas industry yet again,” OKOGA President Chad Warmington said. “The Legislature wrestled with this issue last session and decided a 150 percent increase in the GPT was warranted to help fully fund a teacher pay raise.”


“Drew Edmondson’s proposal would make Oklahoma one of the highest taxed energy-producing states in the nation,” said Cody Bannister,Vice President of Communications for the OIPA. “For that reason, the OIPA will continue to oppose any effort to further increase taxes on the industry.”

Warmington said the hard-working men and women of the oil and gas industry are proud to have done our part to fund those much-needed raises.

“However, with over $1 billion of increased tax revenue available for legislators to spend next year, it’s completely unnecessary and foolish to talk about tax increases,” he said.

Bannister pointed out the state already saw record revenue in the past year and put $400 million into the State’s Rainy day fund, thanks in large part to increased activity in Oklahoma’s oil and natural gas industry and the added income taxes, corporate taxes and gross production taxes that activity generates.

“That economic growth funded a much-needed teacher pay raise and has put our state on a sound financial footing,” he added.


Warmington also said the state levied $600 million worth of tax increases on the oil and gas industry in the past two years.

“When will there be enough tax revenue for Mr. Edmondson?” asked Warmington.

He said Edmondson’s reply to a question about enough revenue bothered him.

“Edmondson said, ‘We need all that we can get.’ That ought to be a huge concern for every industry in the state,” added Warmington.

Bannister pointed out that organizers of an initiative petition to increase the gross production tax, “a proposal very similar to Edmondson’s withdrew their efforts earlier this year.”