'Energy Revenue Stabilization Act' Creating New Savings Account Headed To Fallin's Desk

May 25, 2016

A bill that would bank tax revenues to cushion the state budget during energy industry downturns awaits the governor’s signature.  

House Bill 2763, known as the Energy Revenue Stabilization Act, captures boom-time tax revenues and saves it in an account. If Gov. Mary Fallin signs the bill, it would siphon off above-average taxes on corporations and oil and gas production. The money could only be withdrawn by lawmakers and the Office of Management and Enterprise Services if finance officials declare a state “revenue failure.”

“If there’s a revenue failure, the OMES director could spend up to one-quarter of the fund, the legislature could spend up to one-quarter of the fund, and then for an upcoming fiscal year the legislature could spend half of the fund,” the bill's author, state Sen. David Holt, R-Oklahoma City said before the vote.

The state has seen multiple revenue failures this year, prompting officials to slash agency budgets across the board and take money from the state's Rainy Day Fund for schools and prisons.

“Our successors will quite possibly be — they won’t know our names — but they’ll be very grateful to us that we do this,” Holt said. “I think it’s an excellent response to the situation we found ourselves in this year.”

StateImpact Oklahoma is a partnership among Oklahoma’s public radio stations and produces journalism in the public interest, essential to an informed electorate. Help support informative, in-depth journalism with a donation online.