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Liberal Billionaire Backing Oklahoma Tax Hikes Dodges Millions in Taxes

The Oklahoma billionaire made his money by “shrewdly playing the Internal Revenue Code,” according to the Sunlight Foundation.

Oklahoma Oil

A new report out from the Washington Free Beacon exposes liberal billionaire George Kaiser’s history of avoiding taxes while seeking to increase taxes on Oklahoma oil and gas producers.

In addition to being a large donor for Democrats like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, Kaiser is a major funder of the Oklahoma Policy Institute (OPI), the organization behind a Democrat push to increase the Oklahoma’s gross oil and gas production tax from 2 percent to 7 percent. For years, the OPI has sought a variety of new taxes on Oklahomans, including an internet sales tax and a capital gains tax.

Despite his efforts to raise taxes on Oklahomans, the Free Beacon reports that Kaiser has a history of avoiding paying his own taxes. According to a 2005 New York Times report, Kaiser paid just $2,688 in federal income taxes and claimed negative income over six of seven years in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The Times wrote: “When the I.R.S. sought $49 million in back taxes and penalties, he fought and wound up paying only $11,000 more.”

According to the Sunlight Foundation, Kaiser is as wealthy as he is today by “shrewdly playing the Internal Revenue Code.”

While debate continues in Oklahoma about how to address the state’s budget hole, Democrats and their liberal allies like George Kaiser and the Oklahoma Policy Institute are seeking to hamper one of the state’s largest industries.