Oklahoma State Senate Passes Bill To Eliminate Grocery Tax

In a 42-2 vote, the state Senate passed House Bill 1955 to eliminate the 4.5% state tax levied on groceries on Thursday. The bill still needs to be signed by Gov. Kevin Stitt to take effect.

Thursday, February 22nd 2024, 10:10 am

By: News 9


After prolonged infighting between Republican Party lawmakers at the Oklahoma State Capitol, a vote to eliminate the state's grocery tax was passed on Thursday.

In a 42-2 vote, the state Senate passed House Bill 1955 to eliminate the 4.5% state tax levied on groceries.

A bill eliminating the state's sales tax on groceries could be on the governor’s desk by the end of the day.

The bill passed out of the Oklahoma House of Representatives nearly a year ago. If approved by Oklahoma Senate lawmakers, the tax cut will save Oklahomans $4.50 for every $100 in groceries.

The Republican leader of the state Senate, President Pro Tempore Greg Treat, says it comes to around $400 in savings annually.

Oklahoma is one of only 13 states that still taxes groceries in the United States.

Across the aisle, Senate minority leader Kay Floyd said her caucus has long supported eliminating the grocery tax.

Likewise, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt has called upon lawmakers for years to cut the state's grocery tax.

"Many Oklahomans are already struggling under the weight of record inflation," Gov. Stitt said. "Let's give them more help this year. After all, we need more taxpayers, not more taxes."

However, even if approved by state lawmakers, cities and counties will still be able to tax groceries at the local level, which has sparked concern in Stillwater.

Stillwater Mayor Will Joyce said on social media the bill is short-sighted, will cause confusion, and eventually lead to a push to eliminate the city tax as well.

If Thursday's bill is passed and signed into law by Gov. Stitt, it would take effect in August.

Governor Kevin Stitt shared this release in response to the tax being passed:

"Today, we get to fulfill a promise to all four million Oklahomans and pass the largest single year tax cut in Oklahoma history. Cutting the grocery tax means relief for all Oklahomans.
"I’ve called for tax cuts since 2019 and in 2022 I called a special session specifically to cut the grocery tax. I want to thank Speaker McCall and the House for tirelessly fighting for tax cuts, and to Pro Tem Treat and the Senate for sending this to my desk.
"I’m going to always fight for limited government and lower taxes, and I will still advocate to get us on path to zero income tax. This is a victory I’m excited to celebrate."

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