OK Lawmakers Voice Concerns Over Fallin's Tax Proposals

Thursday, February 9th 2017, 7:18 pm

Gov. Mary Fallin is proposing a billion dollars-worth of new taxes to help the state avoid future budget shortfalls, and to provide a windfall of money for smaller communities. But legislators say the governor's tax plan just won't fly.

"In all, the Governor's plan would add sales tax to more than 160-services that aren't currently taxed. Everything from doctors' visits and funeral services to pet grooming and tattoos. Lawmakers say those kinds of tax increases just won't jibe with a largely conservative legislature.

State lawmakers are working to bridge an estimated $868-million budget shortfall, but those News 9 spoke with say raising taxes to the degree the Governor proposed in her state of the state address is not the answer.

"It's a pretty steep hill to climb because the way Oklahoma State law is written that's a 75% vote in both chambers in order to move those measures forward. It's a pretty high hurdle to clear," said President Pro Tempore, Mike Schulz.

Lawmakers News 9 spoke with are willing to raise some taxes. They really have to, to bridge this budget deficit. Just where we'll see those tax increases is still up for debate.