Will Oklahomans increase sales tax for education?
- Oct 10, 2016 | Gail Cole
Updated 11.11.2016: State Question 779 was defeated.
State Question 779 is one of the hottest issues on the Oklahoma November 8 ballot. If approved, it would add a new Article to the Oklahoma Constitution, create the Oklahoma Education Improvement Fund, and increase the state sales tax rate by 1%.
Former governor David Boren, now president of the University of Oklahoma, strongly supports increasing sales tax to boost education funding. He has often spoken of the state’s education crisis and the need to increase teacher salaries, which are extremely low.
Current Governor Mary Fallin agrees that the state needs to better fund education but has consistently opposed a state sales tax rate increase. Instead, she proposes modernizing sales tax. Her plan involves broadening sales and use tax, eliminating numerous exemptions, and improving sales and use tax audits.
Oklahoma voters will decide on November 8. If they approve State Question 779, the sales tax rate increase will take effect on July 1, 2017.
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