OK Supreme Court To Hear Arguments In Penny Tax Increase

Wednesday, December 16th 2015, 8:45 am
By: News 9

On Wednesday, all nine state supreme court justices will hear arguments and decide if O.U. President David Boren's one-cent sales tax increase is constitutional.

Boren first proposed the idea in response to the state's lack of funding for education. Boren and supporters want voters to decide on a penny hike to give teachers a $5,000 pay raise, and hire up to 1,000 new teachers.

10/21/2015 Related Story: OU's President Boren Leading Charge For Penny Tax Increase For Education

Opponents argue both are necessary, just not like this.

"That's the point of not having log rolled ballot measures, is to not put the voter in a position to take something they just really don't like a major sales tax increase, to see something they really do like a teacher pay raise happen," said Dave Bond, OCPA Impact CEO.

OCPA Impact CEO Dave Bond also argues that log rolling is what's unconstitutional. He said ballot measures can only have one issue, not several.

Supporters of Boren's petition feel there is one issue, and that's funding education.

"Lawmakers face a billion dollar budget hole this session, it's going to be a battle to even get a flat budget for education, this penny sales tax will provide a permanent steady funding source to make sure teachers have a pay raise and it would make college more affordable for Oklahoma families," said Amber England, Stand for Children Oklahoma.

Our partners at the Oklahoma Watch have compiled a data, and report that if Boren's plan is passed Oklahoma City and Tulsa would both be in the top five of highest taxes in the nation.