New Bill Proposes End To State Grocery Tax, Similar Bills Have Failed In The Past

Treat’s bill would eliminate the 4.5 percent state sales tax on groceries.

Tuesday, December 12th 2023, 5:00 pm



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After years of pushing for tax reform at the capitol, a new bill to eliminate the state’s portion of the grocery tax has been introduced for the 2024 legislative session. We spoke with Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat who filed the bill Tuesday: 

“Families are hurting at the grocery store. The most impactful thing that people see day to day week to week is their grocery bill going up,” said Treat.

Many Oklahomans are still paying the price from inflation. Now, Treat is hoping to provide some relief.

“This is only 4.5 percent so I know it's not going to solve everybody's economic woes but its an important point to make that Oklahomans shouldn't be taxed on their groceries,” said Treat. 

Treat’s bill (available here) would eliminate the 4.5 percent state sales tax on groceries. He says it’s important for people to understand it will not impact the local sales tax.

“Because our municipalities, that's their life blood, and we're not trying to eviscerate that because people still need police and fire and city streets to be maintained. This is the state portion that we're talking about doing away with,” said Treat.

This isn’t the first time that lawmakers will be looking at legislation to eliminate the state’s grocery tax. Both Governor Stitt and House Speakers Charles McCall have shown support for the measure, and Treat filed a similar bill in 2022.

That measure was stalled in the House, and never made it across the finish line.

“It just never has made it through at the end of negotiations. I believe in it fervently, to eliminate the state portion I think is the wise thing to do,” said Treat. “I think with the economy, I think the pressure is building on it. Whether or not I can convince people and get it to the finish line is another question.”

“The House has heard multiple tax cut bills in both regular and special session for the last few years only to have them die in the Senate. We are hopeful that by filing these bills, this is an indication that the Senate is ready to act on meaningful tax relief for hard working Oklahomans,” said McCall in a statement.

Treat also says eliminating the grocery tax is more impactful than lowering the state income tax or other tax reform that lawmakers have discussed.

“It's 4.5 percent of everyone's grocery tab, so whatever your weekly bill is, take 4.5 percent off that and you’ll save a significant amount of money over the year,” said Treat.

Treat says he’s hopeful lawmakers can work together to get this measure passed this year.

“People are hurting. I see people put groceries back at the counter because they just can't afford everything they had in their cart. So I think this tells Oklahomans we're listening and we understand what you're going through,” said Treat.

The 2024 regular session is set to start on February 5th.

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