Okla. treasurer: Economic growth continues, slows

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 3, 2013 at 6:31 pm •  Published: January 3, 2013
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The marked decline in oil and gas production taxes in 2012 of nearly 30 percent compared to 2011 is attributed largely to a change in how oil and gas companies receive tax exemptions for drilling deep and horizontal wells. Tax rebates were suspended for two years in 2010 to help lawmakers close a hole in the state budget, and now the state is paying back an estimated $300 million that accrued while they were suspended — nearly double the amount that lawmakers anticipated.

Miller, who served as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee in 2010 and helped craft the deal with the oil and gas industry to change how those tax exemptions work, acknowledged Thursday that lawmakers might consider revisiting those exemptions.

"When those incentive packages were first designed, it was to help get high-cost gas out of the ground. Now as time has gone by and technology has improved so much, most of the gas that is coming out of the ground now is what was previously considered high-cost gas, and I think most of our drilling now is horizontal and deep," Miller said. "I don't know what the answer is today, but I think we probably need to sit down with the industry and sit down with other state leaders to take a look at it and make sure it is as up-to-date and effective as possible."

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Sean Murphy can be reached at www.twitter.com/apseanmurphy