Environment, Education, Energy: Policy to People

Oklahoma Treasurer: Might be Time for State to Change Oil and Gas Taxes

Ken Miller

State of Oklahoma

State Treasurer Ken Miller spoke to reporters at a Monday press conference, which served as a year-end review of Oklahoma’s economy in 2013, and an early prediction of what the year ahead might hold.

In short: Oklahoma saw modest economic growth in 2013, and early data makes him optimistic for 2014.

Miller praised the tax contributions of Oklahoma’s oil and gas industry, which generated 9.3 percent more gross production revenue in 2013 than it did 2012.

The Treasurer also touched on a topic that could be a big debate in the upcoming legislative session: taxes on oil and gas production.

Miller said said it might be time for lawmakers to review the state’s tax break for horizontal drilling, as well as Oklahoma’s “whole oil and gas taxing policy,” The Oklahoman‘s Randy Ellis reports:

“I think that examination may show that incremental changes in the current incentive rate, in turn, may be needed, or it could reveal that comprehensive changes in energy tax policy would better provide stability for increasing global capital,” Miller said.

“It also provides opportunity for lawmakers to simplify and unify the system by lowering the gross production tax rate on all oil and gas production rather than to continue to incentivize what has become the norm.”

The overall effective gross production tax rate in Oklahoma is currently 5.5 percent for oil and 5.3 percent for natural gas, when tax incentives and everything else is considered, he said.

One alternative would be to lower the gross production tax rate from 7 percent to the effective rate oil and gas companies are actually paying, while eliminating incentives, he indicated. That would simplify the system and provide more certainty for producers, he said.

StateImpact Oklahoma is a partnership among Oklahoma’s public radio stations and relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online.


  • RedStateFeminist

    Any company that receives any type of reduced, or deferred tax incentive from the state of Oklahoma, or from any city, town, or other municipality within the state of Oklahoma, should be REQUIRED, as matter of law, to provide substantiating evidence–which is made readily available, and is fully-accessible to the public at all times for review–which would confirm that the continuation of such tax-payer funded incentives are warranted and justified; and any company that wishes to continue receiving such incentives, must provide, as a condition of its continuing eligibility, verifiable proof that the company remains eligibie to continue to receive such incentives.
    If the private citizens of the state of Oklahoma are going to be required to prove their continued eligibility to receive tax-payer funded public assistance benefits on an annual basis, then the CORPORATE citizens of Oklahoma should likewise be required to prove their continued eligibility to receive tax-payer funded incentives on an annual basis.

    • Stephen Willis

      SEC Filings Reveals Chaparral Energy Received $20-30 in False Claims Tax Credits. And this was one year before purchasing 758 acres of Lake Texoma State Park land and then selling it to their CEO, founder of Pointe Vista Development. Nick Baker has done a tremendous public service with his years of diligence to show that state officials who are owned by these Oil and Gas company moguls, continue to loot the state treasury. No wonder their campaign donors call the shots, and are now advocating to lower their taxes. http://prowlingowl.com/Blog/ChaparralAltusVenturesConnection.cfm

      • RedStateFeminist

        There is a GREAT website where one can track the source and amounts of campaign contributions that go to specific elected officials called: “Follow The Money”
        It’s really too bad that more Oklahoma voters are not better informed, or take a greater interest in knowing who is buying and paying for their elected officials, and in knowing who is controlling, or at the very least, influencing and steering the introduction of so-called “Model Legislation” that is being introduced into the OK state legislature by the tea party Republicans who were elected through the generosity (and machinations) of the billionaire Koch brothers!
        This so-called “Model Legislation” is the work product of the Koch brothers-backed American Legislative Exchange Council, a.k.a. “ALEC” which cranks out so-called “Model Legislation” that is written by the out-of-state corporate members of ALEC to promote it’s extreme Right Wing,Social and Pro-business,Agenda.
        Included among ALEC’s greatest hits:

        1. State Stand your Ground laws
        2. New state laws changing the legal requirements for voting– to make sure that voting is more difficult (or even impossible) for minorities, students, the elderly and the poor. (traditionally Democratic voters).
        3. The effort to establish FOR PROFIT Charter scools–to replace public schools and public education.
        4. The effort to establish FOR PROFIT prisons to replace public state prisons.
        5. New state laws requiring individuals to “show their papers, ” to prove they are not in the country illegally .(AZ passed such a state law, specifically for the purpose of creating a ready-made prison population to fill the new privately -owned prisons in that state!)
        6. New state laws stripping the collective bargaining rights from the state’s public sector unions, such as those for teachers, polilcemen, firemen, etc.


        • Stephen Willis

          Google Mary Fallin and ALEC and you’ll see a long-time ALEC clone. ALEC, the State Policy Network and the Chamber of Commerce all promote leaner government so the Corporations can step in and call the shots, and loot our commonwealth. Like Chesapeake Energy co-founder and former CEO, Aubrey McClendon. Corporatist politicians are about deconstructing civil government, by slashing taxes and starving public assets, like our state resort parks and recreation areas, so they can justify selling them to their friends. Austerity is a cover for the out and out theft of public resources. People who hate government so much, have no business holding public office. IMHO.

          • RedStateFeminist

            Way back when Bill Clinton first ran for President, in an interview with 60 minutes, Hillary Clinton mentioned the existence of “A vast Right Wing Conspiracy in America.”
            Like most people who heard her say that, I suspect, I thought:” What in the heck is she talking about?
            It wasn’t until years later that I had ever heard of ALEC or The American Legilative Exchange Council !
            This prompted me to start doing research on the whole topic, and I was stunned to learn that ALEC had been in existence and had been doing its dirtry-work FOR OVER 30 YEARS–and I had never even heard the names “ALEC” or “he American Legislative Exchange Council.” before!

            This, of course, prompted further research on my part, and I was again shocked to learn that in addition to ALEC, there exists an entire nationwide network of so-called “think tanks” which were established and are being financed by uber-wealthy corporatists like the billionaire Koch brothers, the primary purpose, of which, is to dis-seminate information–generally false and mis-leading information– which has been carefully designed to contradict the opinions of REAL EXPERTS, in order to
            protect the financial and profit interests of their masters and commanders—the Right Wing corporatocracy.

            One of these so-called “think tanks” backed by the Koch brothers is considered to be “ground zero” for the whole “Global Cimate Change is a hoax” theory.
            The very well-paid staff at this think tank is comprised of legitimate-sounding pseudo-”experts,” who put out their own version of scientific “facts” in an effort to give give legitimacy to and promote the idea that there is no truth to the whole idea of global warming, and that it is just a bunch of nonsense!.
            To further advance and give legitmacy to the idea that Global warming is not real, and is therefore nothing to worry about , Right Wing elected officials–like Oklahoma’s very own Senator Jim Inhoff– are likewise well-compensated by these industry stakeholders in the oil, gas, and petrochemical industries, to further advance the false notion that global climate change doesn’t exist
            And this elaborate scheme–to convince Americans that Global Climate change doesn’t really exist–was engineered, and is being financed by those who have the most to lose in terms of profits–if this country ever gets serious about curbing the destructive results of global climate change on our environment that s being caused by the widespread use of fossil fuels.

  • Okie

    The last two paragraphs are puzzling.

    So, basically, oil companies can pay an effective GPT of 5.5% with incentives or oil companies can pay an effective GPT of 5.5% without incentives.

    Sounds to me like: One way or another, oil comanies are gonna pay 5.5%.

    Gee, thanks.

    I really hope I missed something.

    • http://stateimpact.npr.org/oklahoma Joe Wertz

      I’m not sure what factors into his “effective” rate, but I’m scheduling an interview with Treasurer Miller to understand more.

      • Okie

        Thanks, Joe. I mean that.

        Have a great day.

        Oh, and ifya get a chance, ask him his opinion on the Tribal Gross Production/State of Oklahoma/Double Whammy Tax that us lucky small producers pay on Tribal Lands.

        I’dbe interested in his answer.

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »