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“It’s immoral,” House Republican leaders, Gov. Fallin pushing for gasoline tax hike to close budget gap

OKLAHOMA CITY - Paying more at the pump - that’s one plan to help plug the state’s budget hole.

But, some said it may drain the bank accounts of hardworking Oklahomans.

House Republicans and Governor Fallin are pushing for an increase in gasoline tax, but opponents said that’s unfair to average Oklahomans when there’s no plan to raise taxes on big oil.

Right now, you’re paying about 17 cents on the gallon in motor fuel tax.

The Oklahoma tax on gasoline is one of the lowest in the country.

That’s why some Republican lawmakers want to raise the tax on gas, while others said that hurts Oklahoma families in a year when dozens of services are facing tax hikes.

“To me, to not tax oil and gas companies at 5 percent and then to pay for that with raising gasoline taxes at the pump is immoral, and I think it’s something that should be fought not only by Democrats but by Republicans as well,” said Rep. Eric Proctor.

House Democrats want to raise the gross production tax to 5 percent.

That’s that tax on the production of oil and gas produced in our state.

Right now, the rate in Oklahoma is 2 percent, compared to Texas at 7 percent and North Dakota at around 10 percent.

“They’re still drilling in both of those states. It’s not hurting production at all in those states,” Proctor said.

“I don’t understand the love affair with increasing the gross production tax,” Majority Floor Leader Rep. Jon Echols told NewsChannel 4 on Sunday.

Echols and Rep. Mickey Dollens discussed raising taxes on Flash Point.

“Cigarette, gas tax, taking $46 million in tax giveaways away from oil and gas… would you guys support that?” Echols asked Dollens.

“I can’t say about the gasoline tax,” Dollens said.

“We gotta give, we gotta give some,” Echols said. “The Democratic party can’t say ‘The only thing I’ll do is what’s in my plan.’”

Our NewsChannel 4 crew wanted to ask House Republican leadership more about their budget plan Monday, but they didn’t respond to our multiple requests for interviews.