Oklahoma

Economy, Energy, Natural Resources: Policy to People

Gov. Mary Fallin’s State Budget Proposal Includes New Tax on Wind Energy

Wind turbines line the horizon near Kingfisher, Okla.

mtneer_ma / flickr

Wind turbines line the horizon near Kingfisher, Okla.

Gov. Mary Fallin on Monday proposed a new 0.5 cent per kilowatt hour tax on wind-generated electricity.

The new wind production tax is part of Fallin’s 2018 executive budget, a document written to guide the Legislature as it struggles to fill an $870 million revenue shortfall and write bills appropriating money to hundreds of state agencies. In her budget, Fallin also suggests an early end to tax incentives for the wind industry. Combined, the two efforts are expected to generate $36.6 million in revenue.

If lawmakers adopt Fallin’s proposal, Oklahoma would be the second state to impose a tax on wind power, “and its tax would be the nation’s highest,” The Oklahoman’s Paul Monies reports:

The idea of taxing wind production has been floated before at the Capitol, including last year when some oil and gas executives also said state wind incentives were too generous. The Legislature did not take any action to curtail the wind incentives or enact a new tax last year.

Fallin’s budget book said the growth of the wind industry in Oklahoma means it no longer needs tax breaks. The state ranks fourth in the nation for wind capacity, and Oklahoma got about 20 percent of its electricity from wind in 2016.

Since Fallin’s proposed wind production tax is new, it faces significant procedural and political hurdles: It would need to win three-fourths approval in the Oklahoma House and Senate.

The proposed Oklahoma wind tax would be five times that of Wyoming, the only state that currently has a tax on wind production. Wyoming has assessed a 0.1 cent per kilowatt hour tax on wind generation. Last year, Wyoming lawmakers didn’t advance a bill that would have tripled that tax rate to 0.3 cent per kilowatt hour.


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Comments

  • Steve Copeland

    I have a better idea governor, how about you trim the fat off your spending and govern responsibly, instead of a ludicrous tax on the wind. You tax and spend politicians are falling like flies, you better get it together.

  • Teacher Needs a Raise

    Instead of taxing Oklahoman’s for conserving natural resources, why don’t you tax the companies that are profiting from our wind resources? Instead of continuing to throw money at these profitable corporations, why don’t you decrease their tax incentives by a few percent and fix our budget?

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