Legal challenge filed against new Oklahoma law that changes drilling incentive

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma City attorney Jerry Fent lodged a legal challenge in the Oklahoma Supreme Court on Thursday to a law that created a new tax rate for oil and gas wells.

Fent had asked Gov. Mary Fallin to veto House Bill 2562, which puts a 2 percent gross production tax on horizontal and vertical wells for the first three years of their existence. She declined and signed it into law.

Currently, horizontal wells are taxed at 1 percent for the first four years and then at 7 percent after that. That rate was set to expire July 1, 2015.
Fent said the measure is a revenue bill that was enacted in the last week of the legislative session in violation of the law. In addition, it did not get three-fourths approval of both chambers, something that is required by law for revenue bills, he said.
“House Bill 2562 gives Oklahoma oil and natural gas producers tax certainty as they plan their drilling budgets for 2015 and after,” said Mike Terry, Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association president. “A prolonged legal battle or revisiting this subject during the 2015 session puts that certainty in jeopardy.

SOURCE BARBARA HOBEROCK/Tulsa World Capitol Bureau:

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