Proposed gravel tax would boost Johnston County - - Texoma news, weather and sports

Proposed gravel tax would boost Johnston County

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Johnston County is one of Oklahoma's leading producers of sand and gravel. (KTEN) Johnston County is one of Oklahoma's leading producers of sand and gravel. (KTEN)

TISHOMINGO, Okla. -- Johnston County officials are hoping that a bill now being considered by the Oklahoma Legislature will result in a boost to local government.

House Bill 1404 would give each county the option of taxing rock, granite, sand, limestone and gravel production up to 10 cents per ton. 

The measure -- which Johnston County has been advocating for almost two decades -- has already passed in the House; now it's up for debate in the senate.

District 2 Commissioner Mike Thompson said that while Johnston County is the state's top producer of rock, salt and gravel, it's not delivering any benefits.

"With two- to three-hundred train cars a night going to Texas, all of our revenue is leaving and going to Texas," he said. "All we're getting is a big hole in the ground."

Establishment of what's known as a severance tax would boost the county's tax base.

"We believe that we should have a tax on it," Thompson said. "It should be treated like gas and oil. It should be taxed at the point of origin from where it comes out of the ground."

A final decision on HB 1404 is expected some time next month.  If approved, it will take effect on November 1.

Thompson said it would be a "win-win situation for everybody" in the county, and the funds would help maintain roads and bridges.

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