Oklahoma senate requests Gross Production Tax increase for teachers, mental health

Oklahoma senate requests Gross Production Tax increase for teachers, mental health
Oklahoma Capitol Building

OKLAHOMA CITY — Quick Facts:

  • Fears about teacher pay and cuts to mental health services grew in the wake of a state budget issue
  • Following State Supreme Court Rulings, Oklahoma faces a $215 million budget gap unless new revenue bills pass
  • The state Senate approved a bipartisan resolution asking the House of Representatives to increase the gross production tax
  • HB 1035X requests an increase to four percent on new oil and gas wells for 36 months
Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz, R-Altus, said:
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"Teachers deserve a pay raise and we can't let mental health services, rural hospitals and child welfare services bear the brunt of massive budget cuts. Though the deal we announced earlier this week achieved those goals, it's clear it cannot pass unless gross production taxes are included. Adding GPT to the budget deal certainly wasn't my first choice, but if it breaks the stalemate it is an option we have to pursue. We now have an opportunity to deliver on teacher pay raises, stop massive budget cuts to health care, and eliminate the constant budget problems plaguing our state. I'm grateful my Democratic and Republican colleagues in the Senate showed leadership in approving this compromise to move Oklahoma forward. We're hopeful our colleagues in the House will act quickly and join us in solving this problem."
Senate Democratic Leader John Sparks, D-Norman, said:
"This is the time for leadership, real compromise and a long-term plan of action for Oklahoma and its people. We are committed to working together with the Governor and Senate and House leadership toward a resolution that benefits all Oklahomans."

The House Democratic Caucus supports the Senate's request and sent out this statement:

"We are pleased that the Senate has confirmed their willingness to bring gross production tax to the negotiating table. Though not specific regarding the length of time of the incentive rate, Senate Resolution 1 indicates a willingness to have a discussion around an increase to 4 percent.
The House Democratic Caucus joins with Senate Democrats to support an increase to the incentive rate to help put the state's financial future on a more stable path.
We encourage the Republican House Caucus to stand with their colleagues across the rotunda, include an increase to the gross production tax in their revenue plan, and allow a vote tomorrow in order to complete the work our constituents expected us to do months ago."

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