Oklahoma ups fuel tax at wrong time for revenue boost; new model likely needed to fund roads, expert
September 30, 2020
Did Oklahoma raise its state tax rates on motor fuel, tobacco, and oil and gas production just in time for them to become obsolete?
Obsolete might be too strong a word. But with a sharp and perhaps persistent decline in demand for petroleum products and the punitive levy on tobacco doing exactly what it was intended to do, the 2018 tax package agreed upon amid so much acrimony, anguish and debate may not turn out to be the long-term revenue boost hoped for.
And, in fact, obsolete is exactly how some have started to describe per-gallon taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel. With consumption stagnant and electric vehicles becoming more common, many believe the way America pays for roads and highways will have to change.
“The reality is, how fast is it going to occur? That’s the question,” Oklahoma Transportation Secretary Tim Gatz said in a recent interview.
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