Oklahoma legislature fails to ax grocery tax
(KTEN) — Oklahoma's regular legislative session has come to a close, and a number of bills were signed into law.
Although the state's grocery tax was not eliminated by lawmakers, there were several other tax reform measures signed into law, including the elimination of the state's franchise tax.
"We were happy to get the franchise tax eliminated, which will save businesses across Oklahoma approximately $55 million, and that will put us at a really good advantage to our neighboring state of Texas by eliminating that franchise tax," Said State Senator Jerry Alvord (R-District 14).
Additionally, the state's marriage tax was eliminated, which will save married couples filing jointly approximately $14.7 million through next year.
State Sen. Jerry Alvord (R-District 14) said there are still talks at the Capitol about other tax cuts and reform measures, including the elimination of the grocery tax.
"We wanted to have all those conversations, but until we finished the education package, we can't get everything we want at one time," Alvord explained. "There is still a little more talk from the Governor about tax reform and tax cuts, but that's yet to be seen."
The state currently charges a 4.5% sales tax on groceries.
"We are one of the few states left that satisfies our small communities through a sales tax, so those taxes would remain in place," he said. "The grocery tax is something we really wanted to look at — and still do — but we wanted people to understand if it passes, it would only take a percentage of the grocery tax away... it won't take everything."
Some Oklahomans would still like to see the state's portion of the sales tax cut.
"When it comes to this sales tax for me, I'm an old timer, and I can deal with it, but for my kids and grandkids, it is not good, and that's just the way I feel about it," Said Lone Grove resident Jackie Gruenwald.
Lawmakers expect to return to the Capitol for the special session on June 12th.
"We are basically on call to return if need be to deal with finalizing the budget," Alvord explained.