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Tax plan fails vote, resolution offered yesterday to fund teacher raise.


A Republican-backed plan to increase taxes on cigarettes, fuel and alcohol to help patch the budget and pay for teacher raises has been shot down in the Oklahoma House.

House members voted 54-44 on Tuesday for the proposal, well short of the 76 votes needed for passage. The rejection forces leaders back to the negotiating table to come up with a way to plug an estimated $215 million hole in the budget.

To deliver teachers a $3,000 pay raise and to prevent massive cuts to mental health and other health care services, the Oklahoma Senate, in a bipartisan vote, approved a resolution yesterday requesting the House of Representatives amend the budget deal to include an increase in the gross production tax of oil and natural gas to four percent for a period of 36 months. .

Senate Democratic Leader John Sparks, D-Norman, said, “This is the time for leadership, real compromise, and a long-term plan of action for Oklahoma and its people. We are committed to working together with the Governor and Senate and House leadership toward a resolution that benefits all Oklahomans.”