They're baaaack!
Welcome to the 2018 Oklahoma Legislature, where we are tackling not only the second half of the regular session, but also reconvening the second special session that began in December. This unusual duality is a product of the failed legislative efforts to balance the state budget in 2017. Just how far off plumb we are seems to be a moving target, but the Senate Appropriations Chair estimated this week that $240 million in new revenue would be needed.

We began to get our feet wet at the state capitol last year, but as Johnny Cash would say, it's five feet high and rising now in 2018. On Sunday, the Tulsa World's editorial writers published a direct plea to the Oklahoma electorate and laid out an excellent road map of the issues. You can check that out here
$749.7 Million
The new legislative Plan A is an  ambitious package of revenue and reforms that was created by a nonpartisan group of business, civic and community leaders, after the first two rounds of special session yielded no long-term solutions. Dubbed the "Step Up Oklahoma" plan, this proposal is estimated to raise almost $750 million and make several other monumental changes to state government. Multiple segments of the plan began advancing through legislative committees on Thursday.
Main Impact on Agriculture & Rural Oklahoma

  • 6 cents/gallon fuel tax increase
AFR members around the state drive a lot of miles and pay a lot in fuel taxes, but this increase is less painful as part of a broad-based revenue package that assesses all areas, including the gross production taxes paid by the oil & gas industry.
  • Gross Production Tax compromise (increasing from 2% to 4% on horizontal wells)
  • Legislative term limits revised (increased from 12 to 16 years)
  • Lowers the threshold required for the legislature to pass revenue-raising measures (decreased from 75% to 60%)
  • Income Tax (which specific deductions will be eliminated has changed many times since the plan was introduced and this portion of the plan has been slippery)
  • Gubernatorial Appointments (which state agency heads will no longer be elected by the people has evolved, as has which agency boards are to be dissolved)
  • County Governance (local control of the makeup of our county government is an honorable concept, but details and scope of this potential change have not been clear)
Votes Coming Soon
As early as Monday, only the fifth day of session, the House of Representatives could consider final passage of Step Up, the largest revenue package in Oklahoma history. Last-minute floor amendments are always a possibility, so AFR will be watching this mega-proposal closely as it advances in coming days. Please contact us at any time if you have questions or to share your thoughts on these issues.


For more information, contact:


Steve Thompson | | 405-218-5563

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