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State Supreme Court To Hear Arguments On Tax Increase Petition Monday

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

The Oklahoma Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday regarding a petition to House Bill 1010XX.

The bill raises some taxes to fund teacher pay increases and was passed just before the teacher walkout.

The new tax revenue from cigarettes, fuel and oil and gas would fund House Bill 1023XX, which allows for teacher pay raises in the first place.

In early May, Oklahoma Taxpayers Unite filed a petition to challenge 1010XX.

If the referendum gets enough signatures, the tax increase decision would go back to a vote of the people.

Co-Founder of Taxpayers Unite, Brooke McGowan, says it should have been that way in the first place.

“They didn't allow the people to have any voice in it,” McGowan said.

McGowan and her organization support a teacher pay raise, but want to find the money elsewhere.             

However, the Professional Oklahoma Educators says the Taxpayers Unite petition is unconstitutional.

The POE is taking their argument to the State Supreme Court Monday.

“I think it will have horrible ramifications for our state,” Ginger Tinney, executive director of POE said.

Tinney says the legislature has the power in this circumstance, because both teacher pay bills were passed under emergency circumstances.

The hearings will begin Monday afternoon at the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

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