Oklahoma fuel tax bill advancess back off a bit

| 3/18/2003

A bill in the Oklahoma Legislature to set up a statewide vote on a plan to raise the state’s fuel tax by 7 cents a gallon on diesel and 5 cents a gallon on gasoline has moved from the state House to the Senate.

HB1385, sponsored by state Rep. Larry Ferguson, R-Cleveland, would increase the state’s current 13-cents-per-gallon diesel fuel tax by 2 cents a gallon in 2005. In addition, an annual fuel tax increase would be imposed from 2006 to 2008, when it would reach 20 cents a gallon. Gasoline would climb from 16 cents a gallon to 21 cents over the same time.

“Revenues from the new taxes will be used for various transportation needs,” Ferguson wrote. “The remainder of the revenues will be deposited to the State Highway Construction and Maintenance Fund.”

Ferguson told Land Line in February he wasn’t proposing a tax increase, just giving voters a chance to decide whether they wanted to make an additional investment in repairing deteriorating roads and bridges.

The measure was passed by the full House March 12 by a 72 to 23 vote and has been sent to the Senate for consideration. If approved by the Legislature and signed by the governor, the bill would go before the public in the November 2004 general election.