State tax/revenue options being thrown around to help with budget shortfall (OKC Fox25)

January 3, 2017
By Jordann Lucero

OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) — In just about one month, lawmakers will convene at the Oklahoma State Capitol to start a new legislative session.

With the state budget looking to be about $868 million short, state leaders have said we need to find new ways to bring in money including new taxes on things from cigarettes to sodas.

"I think it is important for everyone to realize we are not cutting our way out of this budget hole," Oklahoma Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger said.

Some lawmakers have said they will seriously look at increasing Oklahoma's motor fuel tax this session.

It has now been 30 years since the tax on fuel has increased. In 1987, tax on regular gas was set at 17 cents a gallon and diesel at 14 cents a gallon.

Another option being tosses around, a tax on sugary drinks like soda.

Oklahoma Democrats point to a Harvard study that calculated just in Oklahoma City, taxing soda at a penny per ounce would generate $26 million a year.

Governor Mary Fallin has suggested increasing taxes on cigarettes, which was voted down last year and taxing 150 services and things currently exempt from sales tax like, car washes.

Andy Moore started the group "Let's Fix This", a grassroots group that helps you get in touch with your lawmaker to ask for change and voice your opinions.

"I think lawmakers need to know what people want, the community. If we don't talk with them, then they can't really represent us. And so the biggest thing we can do is show up," Moore said.

He says you should review the tax options and say which you like or don't or share your ideas.