Sen. Lankford Says Okla. Needs To Stop Being Dependent On Sales Tax Revenue

Thursday, May 21st 2020, 7:04 am
By: Caleb Califano

Oklahoma's U.S. Senator James Lankford said it's time for state lawmakers to take action to fix a law that forces cities to depend on sales tax revenue to fund necessities like public safety expenses.

Many cities, including Oklahoma City are cutting their budgets because of sales tax losses during the pandemic.

Senator Lankford said as a state, we've needed to fix this problem for decades now but never seem to do anything about it.

He said since this pandemic, the prohibition of local cities raising money from property taxes instead of being solely reliant on sales tax is something that definitely needs to be looked over.

Lankford said that because we are so dependent on sales tax, when something like a pandemic happens, it puts cities and local municipalities in a real bind.

 "When suddenly people aren't shopping, or something comes up like what we are facing with COVID-19. We suddenly have a month where there is nothing going on and cities really struggle with trying to estimate revenue for the rest of the year," says Lankford.

Senator Lankford said this is a state issue, so there's no recommendation coming from his office. He says other states have found ways to bring in consistent revenue in times like these.