• Oklahoma legislators say raising low gas tax not the answer to budget shortfall

    By: Lynn Casey

    Updated:

    OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - Quick facts:

     

    • Oklahoma legislators said they do not want to raise the low gas tax.
    • The state is facing a budget shortfall.
    • Legislators on both sides of the aisle have different ideas to help with the shortfall.

     

    Oklahoma legislators on both sides of the aisle say they are not considering raising Oklahoma’s low gas tax to help with the state’s budget shortfall.

    The gas tax is currently .17 cents per gallon on non-diesel gas. The state made more than $307 million last year on nearly 1.8 billion gallons of gas.

    Raising the tax by .05 cents to be comparable to other states would make the state an additional $90 million.

    FOX23 Lynn Casey talked to drivers about their thoughts on raising the tax

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    The CEO of Longbow Asset Management said raising the gas tax would hurt the oil and gas industry in the Sooner State and taxpayers who regularly fill up their tanks.

    State legislators said the state does need more money, but that that money should not be coming from the “everyman.”

    Democratic leaders said the state should stop extending income tax cuts, and Republicans said lifting the ban on U.S. crude oil exports would bring in more needed money to the Sooner State.

    Industry experts said Oklahoma has low gas taxes because of the oil and gas industry in the state.

    They said it is no coincidence that states like Oklahoma and Texas are “gas tax friendly” states.

    When asked about the possibility of raising the gas tax, a representative from the office of Governor Mary Fallin said, "The governor will present her budget for the upcoming fiscal year on Feb. 1, the first day of the legislative session. She and her budget staff are reviewing various options."

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