New Budget Hole

Oklahoma City, OK – Okla. oil and gas tax breaks double estimate

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Promises made to the state's oil and natural gas industry during a fiscal crisis two years ago will cost Oklahoma nearly twice as much as originally expected, leaving budget officials with $48 million less to work with in the upcoming fiscal year.

With corporate and income tax revenues projected to be up for fiscal 2013, along with sales taxes, Oklahoma should have expected a $91 million budget increase next year, according to the Tax Commission. Drilling-related tax breaks cuts the amount to around $43 million.

Figures obtained by The Associated Press on Thursday show Oklahoma must repay developers $294 million over the next three years, not $150 million as initially believed. Oklahoma temporary suspended tax credits amid a fiscal crisis in 2010 and promised to repay them beginning this year.