Tax Credits
9:20 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Incentives For Oil, Gas Drilling Draining State Treasury

Oklahoma finance officials say major tax breaks handed out to the oil and gas industry during the economic downturn in 2010 cost the state $321 million last fiscal year.

A horizontal drilling rig.
Credit Meredithw / Flickr Creative Commons

Secretary of Finance Secretary Preston Doerflinger released figures Wednesday that show tax rebates and refunds for drilling totaled $173 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30, while state tax credits cost an additional $148 million.

The huge drain on state coffers has prompted Doerflinger and other state leaders to call for revisiting the tax credits, especially those for horizontal drilling.

The generous credits to the industry were delayed for two years during the economic downturn, but now have resumed, and the state also is paying back the credits that were accrued over the two years.