Broken Arrow School Board urges lawmakers to raise production tax to fix budget gap

Posted at 10:58 PM, May 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-09 04:54:27-04

Broken Arrow's school board is joining with Tulsa Public Schools urging state lawmakers at the to increase the production tax on oil and gas companies.

School leaders believe upping the tax on drilling to 7% would help fix some of the state’s budget problems.

The Broken Arrow School Board passed a resolution Tuesday night asking for the tax increase.

The school district hopes the revenue increase from the tax would help with budget funding for next school year.

Broken Arrow School Superintendent Dr. Janet Dunlop said Tuesday school district budgets are "dying on the operating table right now".

Lawmakers at the capital are debating how to fix the state’s $878-million budget hole.

School district boards in Tulsa Public Schools and Broken Arrow are urging lawmakers to raise the gross production tax on the oil and gas industry to 7%.

Dunlap told board members school districts, like Broken Arrow, have faced cuts for the past eight years.

She said some students have gone to school year-after-year with more cuts to programs and teachers.

Oklahoma Oil and Gas Association said most drilling companies in the state are paying 2% for the first 36 months of production and then 7% afterwards.

The industry group said commodity prices are improving, the energy field is recovering and this proposed tax would discourage more drilling.

If the legislature passes a gross production tax, school districts hope revenues could be collected as early as this July.

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