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Edmondson wants gross production tax raised to 7 percent

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Step Up Oklahoma: How the organization formed and evolved Step Up Oklahoma: OEA endorses initiative in push for teacher pay hikes Step Up Oklahoma: Edmondson wants gross production tax raised to 7 percent Step Up Oklahoma: Lamb says budget hole should be filled without tax hikes Step Up Oklahoma: Oil groups extend support Step Up Oklahoma: Reforms requested by business, civic leaders Step Up Oklahoma: State business, civic leaders offer revenue, reform package Step Up Oklahoma: Revenue raising measures proposed by business coalition and civic leaders Step Up Oklahoma: Supporters of plan identified Step Up Oklahoma: Lawmakers eyeing budget, revenue fixes with new bills

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Drew Edmondson praised business leaders for recognizing the state has a "revenue problem" but said he would raise taxes on oil and gas production higher than proposed by the Step Up Oklahoma coalition.

"I think what they have done is commendable," Edmondson said of the revenue and reform package unveiled last week by the group of business and civic leaders.

"I really appreciate the business community stepping up and taking a look at these problems and making recommendations. Secondly, I totally appreciate the fact they have acknowledged a revenue issue, recognizing as Gov. (Mary) Fallin did in her seventh year in office that we aren't going to fix this problem with 'efficiency' and 'waste' — that we have a revenue problem.

"And for the business community to recognize that and acknowledge it, I think is major. It's a major development."

In an interview at his Oklahoma City campaign office on Wednesday, Edmondson said he has supported a tax increase of $1.50 per pack on cigarettes for the past year. That proposal is one element of the Step Up revenue package.

Edmondson said he would raise the gross production tax for all oil and gas wells to 7 percent. The rate is currently 2 percent for the first 36 months for all new wells. The rate then goes up to 7 percent. Step Up Oklahoma has proposed doubling the initial rate to 4 percent, with the rate still rising to 7 percent after 36 months.

Raising the rate to 7 percent and increasing the cigarette tax by $1.50 a pack would bring in about $700 million per year in revenue, depending on the price of oil, Edmondson said.

He said the state has given ample tax incentives to spur horizontal drilling "and now that’s the way they drill."

"So it does not need to be subsidized or encouraged with a tax break," he said Wednesday. "So the gross production should be restored for that method of drilling to the 7 percent."

Edmondson served 16 years as Oklahoma attorney general. He ran unsuccessfully in 2010 for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

In Stillwater this week, Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, who is running for the GOP gubernatorial nomination, said he would oppose any new taxes to fill the state's budget hole and claimed that the state no longer offers any incentives for new horizontal drilling.

Asked about that claim, Edmondson said, "Aside from billions of dollars in income?

"People are drilling because they make a ton of money off of oil and gas. I cannot make clear what Todd Lamb said.

"I don't have any idea what he's talking about because oil and gas wells are also exempt from ad valorem (property tax), which they are not in Texas."

Edmondson said the $5,000 per year teacher pay raise proposed by Step Up "would be a welcome development."

He said, "Teachers need a series of pay raises. Five thousand dollars should be a start, not a goal. The average increase in salaries for teachers who have left the state is $19,000 so we've got a ways to go.

"But you can't just raise teacher salaries," he said, "because the schools haven't had an increase in their Average Daily Attendance (payments) for eight years."

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Step Up Oklahoma: How the organization formed and evolved Step Up Oklahoma: OEA endorses initiative in push for teacher pay hikes Step Up Oklahoma: Edmondson wants gross production tax raised to 7 percent Step Up Oklahoma: Lamb says budget hole should be filled without tax hikes Step Up Oklahoma: Oil groups extend support Step Up Oklahoma: Reforms requested by business, civic leaders Step Up Oklahoma: State business, civic leaders offer revenue, reform package Step Up Oklahoma: Revenue raising measures proposed by business coalition and civic leaders Step Up Oklahoma: Supporters of plan identified Step Up Oklahoma: Lawmakers eyeing budget, revenue fixes with new bills

Related Photos
<p>Former Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson, now a Democratic gubernatorial nominee, speaks in 2016 in Oklahoma City. [Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman Archives]</p>

Former Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson, now a Democratic gubernatorial nominee, speaks in 2016 in Oklahoma City. [Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman Archives]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-86f1aceb1ba9fc886243fb7fb0b01b43.jpg" alt="Photo - Former Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson, now a Democratic gubernatorial nominee, speaks in 2016 in Oklahoma City. [Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman Archives] " title=" Former Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson, now a Democratic gubernatorial nominee, speaks in 2016 in Oklahoma City. [Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman Archives] "><figcaption> Former Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson, now a Democratic gubernatorial nominee, speaks in 2016 in Oklahoma City. [Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman Archives] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-ab649085d222850ceb82d2c96a189ab1.jpg" alt="Photo - Former Democratic Attorney General Drew Edmondson, announces his run for governor during a press conference at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City, Okla. Monday, May 1, 2017. Photo by Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman" title="Former Democratic Attorney General Drew Edmondson, announces his run for governor during a press conference at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City, Okla. Monday, May 1, 2017. Photo by Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Former Democratic Attorney General Drew Edmondson, announces his run for governor during a press conference at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City, Okla. Monday, May 1, 2017. Photo by Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-5593bd3fe31b2fd4dfe27bd66dc25b01.jpg" alt="Photo - David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, unveils reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, unveils reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, unveils reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-f3c9776c11882ece6c07d770a9f82241.jpg" alt="Photo - David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, left, and attorney Glenn Coffee, former state senator and Oklahoma Secretary of State, speak at a news conference. Coffee's law firm is due to receive $5.6 million in the Purdue opioid case settlement. [Jim Beckel/The Oklahoman] " title=" David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, left, and attorney Glenn Coffee, former state senator and Oklahoma Secretary of State, speak at a news conference. Coffee's law firm is due to receive $5.6 million in the Purdue opioid case settlement. [Jim Beckel/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, left, and attorney Glenn Coffee, former state senator and Oklahoma Secretary of State, speak at a news conference. Coffee's law firm is due to receive $5.6 million in the Purdue opioid case settlement. [Jim Beckel/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-65a724435c59d84c0a7261f7ec45bb6b.jpg" alt="Photo - David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, unveils reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, unveils reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, unveils reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-fb9601ddfe246930db76fb8eda192237.jpg" alt="Photo - David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, unveils reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, unveils reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, unveils reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-5df48eeae14dda58f763b770278df182.jpg" alt="Photo - David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, left, and attorney Glenn Coffee, former state senator and Oklahoma Secretary of State, unveil reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, left, and attorney Glenn Coffee, former state senator and Oklahoma Secretary of State, unveil reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, left, and attorney Glenn Coffee, former state senator and Oklahoma Secretary of State, unveil reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-7ae3dddb7e6617437c8cc889aa914f46.jpg" alt="Photo - David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, right, and attorney Glenn Coffee, former state senator and Oklahoma Secretary of State, unveil reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, right, and attorney Glenn Coffee, former state senator and Oklahoma Secretary of State, unveil reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, right, and attorney Glenn Coffee, former state senator and Oklahoma Secretary of State, unveil reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a478731545154e417033cd6b1d8936b1.jpg" alt="Photo - Phil Albert, president of Pelco Structural, and an OU regent, spoke in favor of the proposed reform and revenue measures at the news conference. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="Phil Albert, president of Pelco Structural, and an OU regent, spoke in favor of the proposed reform and revenue measures at the news conference. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>Phil Albert, president of Pelco Structural, and an OU regent, spoke in favor of the proposed reform and revenue measures at the news conference. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-f1593ba5e3c24add8e7132c01b811fa2.jpg" alt="Photo - Tucker Link is a member of Step Up who spoke at the news conference. Link is founder and chairman of Knightsbridge Investments, and is an OSU/A&amp;M regent. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="Tucker Link is a member of Step Up who spoke at the news conference. Link is founder and chairman of Knightsbridge Investments, and is an OSU/A&amp;M regent. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>Tucker Link is a member of Step Up who spoke at the news conference. Link is founder and chairman of Knightsbridge Investments, and is an OSU/A&amp;M regent. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-29ab01a263328cfd78e2148afde7cd1d.jpg" alt="Photo - David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, left, and attorney Glenn Coffee, former state senator and Oklahoma Secretary of State, unveil reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, left, and attorney Glenn Coffee, former state senator and Oklahoma Secretary of State, unveil reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, left, and attorney Glenn Coffee, former state senator and Oklahoma Secretary of State, unveil reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-ef3404f11417cef99e521f5283fcdff7.jpg" alt="Photo - David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, answers a reporter's question at a news conference in the Oklahoma History Center where he and other business leaders unveiled reform and revenue measures. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, answers a reporter's question at a news conference in the Oklahoma History Center where he and other business leaders unveiled reform and revenue measures. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, answers a reporter's question at a news conference in the Oklahoma History Center where he and other business leaders unveiled reform and revenue measures. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-22cf2ef3e4ca69240f51d545cdf0e960.jpg" alt="Photo - David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, unveils reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, unveils reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, unveils reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure>
Chris Casteel

Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. Casteel covered the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City. From 1990 through 2016, he was the... Read more ›

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