Johnston County pushes for gravel tax - - Texoma news, weather and sports

Johnston County pushes for gravel tax

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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)

JOHNSTON COUNTY, Okla. -- For almost 20 years, Johnston County Commissioners have been advocating for the passage of House Bill 1404, putting a tax on rock, sand, and gravel.

The county produces 10 million tons of those materials each year, and they won't be slowing down any time soon.

"We're the leading producer now, and I think we'll stay the leading producer," said District 2 Commissioner Mike Thompson. "In the future, I think we'll have two more crushers and we'll boost that by several million tons a year."

If passed, the legislation would give each Oklahoma county an option to tax rock, sand and gravel up to 10 cents a ton, though Johnston County could bring that down to 5 cents.

As of now, the county has seen no benefits from leading the state in this industry.

"We have a fine, natural resource product here that is un-renewable. When it's gone, it's gone," Thompson said. "There's nothing about a person wanting taxes, it's just a necessity."

This is the closest the bill has gotten to becoming reality in five years and, if passed, the tax would benefit the county for years to come.

"The truth of it is, with more hands and better equipment, more money to operate on, naturally we could have better roads in this county, and that's what we're all shooting for," Thompson said.

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