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Local & Regional

Statewide Vote Sought on Production Tax Hike

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A group led by a longtime oil and gas industry leader is seeking a public vote in November on whether to impose an across-the-board 7 percent tax rate on oil and natural gas production in Oklahoma to help fund public education.

Mickey Thompson with Restore Oklahoma Now, Inc. filed paperwork on Wednesday with the secretary of state's office. About 90 percent of the revenue would be earmarked for a $4,000 teacher pay raise and to address the ongoing teacher shortage. The other 10 percent would fund early childhood education.

The former head of an oil and gas industry trade group, Thompson says early estimates show the tax hike would generate about $333 million in the upcoming fiscal year.

The group will have 90 days to get about 123,000 signatures.