Oklahoma gasoline taxes haven’t been raised in nearly three decades (Fox 25)

By Jordann Lucero 

The amount of tax drivers pay at the pumps in Oklahoma hasn’t increased in nearly 30 years. A look at this tax by the Oklahoma Policy Institute show Oklahoma is losing out on millions of dollars a year by not raising it.

The state collects 17 cents a gallon on regular gas and 14-cents a gallon of diesel. Those rates were set in 1987.

“Because it’s not set a percentage price, like sales tax for example, but it’s flat number of pennies per gallon every year we lose some of the real value of that tax to inflation,” policy director Gene Perry said.

He proposes the tax gets raised whenever gas dip below a certain price at the pumps.

“The idea is when prices are so low, it coincides with Oklahoma as a whole have big drops in state revenue but at the same time drivers aren’t feeling as much pain at the pump. So this would be a good way to kind of even out those cycles and help boost state revenue when Oklahoma needs it most to fund schools and roads and all of our most important state services,” he said.

Perry said every penny the tax is increased means $19 million in extra revenue for the state.

“So you could get, for example, about $100 million if you increase it by 5 cents per gallon, $200 million if you increase it by 10 cents per gallon and so on,” he said.

The issue of raising gasoline tax made it onto an Oklahoma ballot in 2005 and was overwhelmingly voted down.


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