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Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt mulling new special session on tax cuts

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt delivers his State of the State address Monday, Feb. 6, 2023, in Oklahoma City.
Sue Ogrocki
/
AP
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt delivers his State of the State address Monday, Feb. 6, 2023, in Oklahoma City.

Gov. Kevin Stitt said last week he is considering calling lawmakers into another special session on tax cuts early next year.

Stitt said he’d like to see lawmakers approve a 0.25% personal income tax cut before the regular, four-month legislative session begins Feb. 5.

“I’d love to get a tax cut done before we go back into session so it’s not all jumbled up with all the other policy things,” Stitt told reporters.

He said he planned to talk to House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, and Senate President Pro Tem Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, about the idea.

The governor made the comments after the state Board of Equalization, which he leads, certified budget projections for the upcoming fiscal year.

According to the projections, lawmakers could spend up to $13.9 billion next year, or about $1 billion more than the $12.9 billion budget they approved this year.

The figures presented Friday serve as a starting point for Stitt to build a budget proposal he will present to lawmakers Feb. 5. Lawmakers will begin crafting the spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year once the Board of Equalization meets again in February to certify updated budget projections.

Touting projections showing the state could have about $458 million more in recurring revenue to spend next year, Stitt said he’s feeling “great” about the possibility of a tax cut.

A 0.25% personal income tax cut would cost about $250 million annually once fully implemented, he said.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Roger Thompson, R-Okemah, said he expects lawmakers will only have about $300 million or less in new recurring revenue to spend next year.

It’s too soon to talk about cutting taxes, he added. Lawmakers need to dig into the budget figures presented Friday to get a better idea of how much extra cash the state will have, Thompson said.

“We need to solidify what the numbers are before we talk about going into a special session,” he said.

Stitt also urged lawmakers to pass a 0.25% personal income tax cut in an October special session.

Although the House was prepared to act on the governor’s request, the Senate abruptly adjourned the special session after Stitt refused to appear before a legislative panel to answer questions about his proposed tax cuts.

Oklahoma Voice is part of States Newsroom, a nonprofit news network supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Oklahoma Voice maintains editorial independence.

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Oklahoma Voice