Gov. Kevin Stitt Discusses Special Session As State Leaders Prepare To Respond

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt joined the News 9 team to discuss his plans ahead of a special session at the state capitol on Tuesday.

Monday, October 2nd 2023, 10:24 am

By: News 9


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As state leaders prepare to gather at the Oklahoma state Capitol on Tuesday for a special session over state taxes, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt joined the News 9 team Monday morning to share more about his plans.

Gov. Stitt said his goal is to cut taxes across the state.

"If we don't cut taxes now, when are we gonna do it?" Stitt said. "We've got a huge budget surplus. We've got record savings."

Gov. Stitt also said a point of contention is a case the Oklahoma Supreme Court is hearing, Alicia Stroble v. Oklahoma Tax Commission, could decide if Oklahomans living on tribal reservations are required to pay state taxes.

RELATED: Tribal Member Challenges Oklahoma Tax Commission After Scotus Jurisdiction Ruling

Stitt said, if the court decides Oklahomans living on reservations do not have to pay state taxes, it would be "unfair" to those not living on reservations.

"We can't have a situation where half the state doesn't pay taxes, [and] the other half does," Stitt said. "That's fundamentally unfair to have one race paying taxes and one race not."

To possibly counteract the court's decision, Stitt has proposed a trigger law that, if it goes into effect, would require no one in Oklahoma to pay state taxes.

Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat (R-Oklahoma City) said such a law would eliminate around $4 billion in revenue for the state.

RELATED: Oklahoma Senate Pro Tem Discusses Special Session At State Capitol

In response to the special session, Oklahoma lawmakers are preparing to return to the state Capitol on Wednesday to work out any issues regarding state taxes.

Oklahoma House Speaker, Rep. Charles McCall (R-Atoka), said not much time has been spent on Stitt's trigger law.

"There is a pending suit before the court, so the legislature will have to decide 'do they want to preemptively advance something? or wait to see... what the court decides first,'" McCall said. "Only when the court fully adjudicates this issue will we fully know what the situation is."

Regarding a zero-income tax proposal, Speaker McCall said the state would not go down a path similar to that of the State of Texas, which has no individual income tax, but a larger property tax to cover that, according to McCall.

The Oklahoma State Senate is set to meet at 9 a.m. Tuesday, and the House will meet at 11 a.m.

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