Oil, gas companies continue asking for tax reduction

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Oil and gas companies were back at the State Capitol Wednesday to continue an ongoing discussion. They are pleading their case to the Louisiana Tax Commission as to why they need a tax reduction.

Companies are claiming that they are losing money and are being forced to cut jobs to reduce costs because of low oil prices. About 15 percent of oil and gas revenue makes up the state's budget, and a drop in production could mean trouble for everyone.

"When you see a price of oil, if it drops $10 on average, that is $120 million out of the state's general fund that doesn't go to higher ed, health care or elementary education," said Gifford Briggs with Louisiana Oil and Gas Association. "So some people maybe these low gas prices and saving money at the pump it ultimately is hitting every bodies pocket books."

Currently, oil prices have continued to slide for several months, dropping and hovering around $45 a barrel. They are asking for a 15 percent reduction in their taxes.

Pete Peters is the chairman of the state's tax commission, which goes through such requests and makes information available to legislators to ultimately vote on.

He said the commission will be paying close attention to this issue.

"We certainly want a fair and equitable system to where we don't lose any folks. We are Louisiana folks too and want people to certainly be employed," said Peters.

The Louisiana Tax Commission is expected to make a decision on a tax reduction within 60 days.

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