Another OK Legislature 'Fee' Deemed Unconstitutional
OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma Supreme court has struck down another fee created by the state legislature; this one against electric and hybrid vehicles.
In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court ruled the Motor Fuels Tax Fee (HB 1449) was unconstitutional on the basis that it was a revenue bill passed in the last five days of session, and needed three-fourths of the legislature’s support.
The Republican-majority legislature tried to get the bill through with a simple majority. The Cigarette Tax was also passed in a similar fashion and was also ultimately deemed unconstitutional as well.
The bill, HB 1449, placed a $100 registration fee on electric vehicles and a $30 registration fee on hybrid vehicles.
Unlike the Cigarette Tax, however, the Motor Fuels Tax Fee was only expected to generate approximately $500,000 in revenue initially, and $1 million anually after being fully implemented, according to the Associated Press. Its failure does not greatly impact the ongoing budget debacle.
Gov. Mary Fallin issued the following statement regarding the court's decision:
I’m disappointed with the Oklahoma Supreme Court striking down the registration fee for electric and hybrid vehicles. Fortunately, lawmakers are in special session now working on how to adjust a shortfall of $215 million of state appropriations caused when the state Supreme Court earlier this year struck down a proposed smoking cessation fee.