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Stitt calls on legislature to cut grocery tax, GOP lawmakers decline to commit

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Gov. Kevin Stitt stood on the steps of the capitol building in Oklahoma City Tuesday morning and called on the legislature to deliver inflation relief via a grocery sales tax cut during a special session.

“Our communities need relief from soaring inflation, which remains near a 40 year high,” he said.

Stitt pointed to the state’s $3 billion in savings and that “food prices are up an historic 13.5%.”

But GOP Senate leaders signaled such a move would be unlikely. In statements sent out shortly after Stitt’s address to the media, they called for a deliberate process to look at tax reform.

“Philosophically, I am for lower taxes,” Senate President Pro Tem Greg Treat said in a written statement. “We must remember just a few short years ago we were scrambling with a $1.3 billion shortfall. We must be mindful and do tax cuts the right way.”

Regardless of whatever happens with grocery sales taxes, lawmakers will convene Wednesday morning to allocate hundreds of millions of dollars in federal relief funds. And tax reform will likely be a top priority of legislative leaders during the 2023 session.

StateImpact Oklahoma is a partnership of Oklahoma’s public radio stations which relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online.

Robby Korth grew up in Ardmore, Oklahoma and Fayetteville, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Nebraska with a journalism degree.
StateImpact Oklahoma reports on education, health, environment, and the intersection of government and everyday Oklahomans. It's a reporting project and collaboration of KGOU, KOSU, KWGS and KCCU, with broadcasts heard on NPR Member stations.
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