After Cigarette-Fee Rejection, Oklahoma Releases New Plan To Address Budget Gap

Sep 26, 2017

Credit Serge Melki / Wikimedia Commons

Oklahoma’s economic plans were thrown into a tailspin last month, after the state Supreme Court ruled a proposed tobacco fee unconstitutional. The fee was slated to bring in over $215 million to the state coffers, and go a long way toward plugging Oklahoma’s $900 million budget shortfall.

Now, as KOKH reports, Republican President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz has released the state’s new plan to fill the hole. The plan includes a new cigarette tax of $1.50 per pack, a six-cent tax increase on auto fuel, and the elimination of the sales tax exemption for wind manufacturers.

All told, these three initiatives are expected to net $215 million and replace the lost funds from the rejected “tobacco cessation fee.” Schulz said he’s confident state GOP leaders will pass the new revenue plan.

He added that he doesn’t plan to address the teacher-pay raise issue until he’s solved the budget problem.