Group Led By Long-Time Energy Leader Seeks Public Vote To Increase Oil And Gas Taxes

  • Joe Wertz
Mickey Thompson of Restore Oklahoma Now filing the paperwork for SQ 795, which would ask voters to increase taxes on oil and gas production to help fund education.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Mickey Thompson of Restore Oklahoma Now filing the paperwork for SQ 795, which would ask voters to increase taxes on oil and gas production to help fund education.

A group led by a long-time energy industry leader wants Oklahoma voters to approve an increase in taxes on oil and gas production to help fund public education.

Currently, taxes on oil and gas production are discounted for the first three years making the effective tax rate somewhere around 3.2 percent. Mickey Thompson with Restore Oklahoma Now on Wednesday filed the paperwork for State Question 795 to increase that rate to 7 percent across-the-board.

You Should Know: The group estimates the tax hike could generate about $330 million next fiscal year. Ninety percent of the revenue would go to a $4,000 teacher pay raise; The remaining 10 percent would fund early childhood education. Thompson is the former head of the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association, which opposes increasing oil and gas production taxes. State Question 795 will need more than 120,000 signatures to make on the 2018 ballot.