FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: House Minority Leader Scott Inman
Phone: (405) 557-7370
STATEMENT: Inman Responds to Supreme Court Ruling on Vehicle Sales Tax
OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. and House Minority Leader Scott Inman, D-Del City, released the following statement today after the Oklahoma Supreme Court upheld removing a vehicle sales tax exemption as constitutional.
“Today’s court ruling presents a mixed bag for Oklahoma voters. While avoiding another loss of $100 million to the current year’s budget, the ruling has empowered this Republican majority to raise the taxes of middle class families without honoring the will of the Oklahoma citizens who passed State Question 640 in 1992.
“While I disagree with the majority opinion, in that the new car tax was clearly passed exclusively for the purposes of raising revenue, it’s important to note that we still have a $215 million gap for this fiscal year created by the unconstitutional cigarette tax and an even bigger hole to fill when we begin the Legislative session next year.
“A potential silver lining in today’s ruling, it appears the Court has now opened the door to increasing, with only a majority vote in the Legislature, the gross production tax exemption that has served as a road block to the Oklahoma standard rate of 7 percent. The time is right to remove the artificially low gross production tax rate of 2 percent.
“I call upon the governor and Republican leaders of the House and Senate to continue negotiations with House and Senate Democrats and come to an agreement on a long term, bipartisan budget solution for a Special Session that will ensure our teachers and public employees receive a raise, shore up our rural hospitals, protect our public safety, and improve our roads and bridges so that we can rebuild our state from the devastating fiscal policies of the last seven years. Oklahoma cannot continue to wait.”