Oklahoma candidates call for inflation relief
(KTEN) -- As the price of gas, groceries, and everyday items continues to increase, many Oklahomans are feeling the pain in their wallets.
"I just came out of the store with two-and-a-half bags... no meat... and spent $50-something," said Durant resident Melanie Ragle. "What happened? No meat! No milk! Can't afford that."
On Tuesday, Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt called on lawmakers to take action during this week's special session to eliminate the state's 4.5 percent grocery tax.
The website of Stitt's Democratic opponent in the November election, Joy Hofmeister, said she would "eliminate regressive taxes on families like the grocery tax" if elected.
"I just dropped $33 just on taxes alone," said shopper Tamara Lane. "And I have been guilty of going to Texas and buying groceries."
Changing shopping habits can alleviate some of the pain on that grocery store receipt.
"We changed a whole lot of our brands; we changed how we prepare our meals... how much of it we make," said Melinda Hill. "Freezing it saves a whole lot."
Stitt believes the state should use some of its $3 billion surplus to help consumers in the Sooner State.
"Food prices are up an historic 13-and-a-half percent; eggs are up an astronomical 40 percent; milk and bread are up 17 percent," Stitt said. "This hurts real families all across our state, who are doing everything they can to make ends meet and just keep up with rising inflation costs."
Melinda Hill said an end to Oklahoma's grocery tax would save her close to $100 each month.
"Every mom knows everything is going up," she said. "Shoes, clothes... anything that we can save.... any dime we can save... is towards something else that I guarantee you is something we need."
Stitt is encouraging taxpayers to call the Capitol if they no longer want to see their groceries taxed. Hofmeister has also said Oklahoma should suspend the state gasoline tax as a way to ease the burden on citizens.