Thanks to a shortsighted budget passed by lawmakers last May, three separate lawsuits were filed challenging the constitutionality of several measures approved in the final days of session to balance the state budget.
Earlier today the Oklahoma Supreme Court heard the oral arguments for those lawsuits.
A little bit of background first. In 1992, Oklahomans approved a measure, State Question 640, which altered our state’s Constitution by placing four specific restrictions on lawmakers introducing revenue-raising measures.
The measures in question today were the elimination of a sales tax exemption on automobiles, a $1.50 “cessation fee” per pack of cigarettes, the decoupling of the state and federal standard deductions, and a new registration fee for electric and hybrid vehicles.
Here’s what folks on Twitter had to say:
The key issue with automobile suit centered around if removing a tax exemption qualifies as a tax increase ... justices seem skeptical— Oklahoma Watch (@OklahomaWatch) August 8, 2017
Justice Wyrick: I accept economics behind a sin tax to discourage behavior. Problem is where do we draw a line. #okleg— Oklahoma Watch (@OklahomaWatch) August 8, 2017
The court recessed at noon, and it’s unclear when they’ll deliver their decision.
In the meantime, though, we can urge our state leaders to get back to work and give us a budget that invests instead of cuts—one that gives teachers the raise they deserve and have been promised and helps us keep top talent in our children’s classrooms.
Please, tell Governor Fallin—we deserve better! Tell lawmakers to get back to work for Oklahoma families.