Budget Briefing: Low Natural Gas Prices Worry State Budget Officials

Happy Presidents’ Day, here’s your budget briefing:

Low Natural Gas Prices Concern Oklahoma’s Governor, State Treasurer “A revised reduction in the amount of money natural gas gross production taxes will bring into the state’s treasury in the coming fiscal year may not be low enough, two members of the state’s budget board said Friday.” Also: “The high price of oil has spurred drilling activity in the state, which means the state will have to pay more in rebates to oil and natural gas companies than estimated two years ago.” (newsok.com)

Over a Barrel: How We Ended Up on the Hook to Oil and Gas Producers to the Tune of $294 Million “In their efforts to find additional revenues for the upcoming budget year, legislative leaders and Governor Henry took some strong and politically risky steps to suspend tax credits for various forms of economic activity. But when it came to tax incentives for the oil and gas industry, expected to amount to some $150 million in FY ’11 and FY ’12, it was the industry that seemed to have the upper hand.” (okpolicy.org)

Stillwater Sen. Jim Halligan: State Income Tax Adjustment ‘Will Happen’ “Given its political momentum, Oklahoma’s tax structure is likely to see some minor tweaks — if not a complete overhaul — in the next year. ‘There is a theory that we’ll reduce them and our growth will cover, but it’s a little bit like jumping off a cliff and hoping there’s water at the bottom of it,’ Williams said.” (stwnewspress.com)

Proposed Budget cuts for Oklahoma Could Gut State’s Film Industry “Proponents — including Senate Finance Committee Chair Mike Mazzei, R-Tulsa — believe the cuts are necessary to help lower personal income taxes, while Shryock, Lee and other industry observers say lawmakers need to look at the big picture.” (newsok.com)


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