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OEA lobbies for repeal of capital gains bill on day 7 of teacher walkout

OKLAHOMA CITY - The statewide teacher walkout has reached day seven, and the Oklahoma Education Association is asking their members to continue lobbying for several things, including a repeal to the capital gains tax exemption.

"I don't see anybody going anywhere any time soon," Dr. Shane Brady told News 4.

Brady, who's a professor at the University of Oklahoma, has been rallying at the state capitol with his wife, who teaches in Moore.

"I'm cautiously optimistic but very disappointed that we haven't heard the capital gains bill in the House, and that bill is going to be an important piece of legislation if we're going to have funding stream for education that has some long-term sustainability," Brady said.

"Last week, the OEA said, if you guys will do ball and dice and the Amazon tax, we'll be done and we'll go home and, before we were able to complete that on the Senate floor, the game had changed," said Senator Roger Thompson, R-Okemah. "Now, they're back to the capital gains."

Thompson, who's the Senate finance chair said repealing the capital gains tax exemption would hurt small businesses farmers and ranchers.

"If you go out to your stockyards and you sell all your cattle, you immediately begin to pay capital gains on what you've made. Do you have time to go back and invest in more cattle?" Thompson said. "Same way with small businesses."

However, he agrees it's something to be looked at, just not this legislative session.

According to the Oklahoma Police Institute, only a small percentage of people using the capital gains exemption are farmers and ranchers and the rest are outside of the agriculture business. The majority of the deductions goes to just over 800 wealthy Oklahoma households.

"We're going to be out here. We're going to continue to protest," Brady said. "We're going to raise our voices until they decide to fix this education mess that they've got us all into."

"I'm glad to see the teachers, glad to talk to the teachers but I'm wondering what else is there to accomplish at this time," Thompson said.

On Tuesday morning, the House adjourned without hearing a capital gains bill.

Representative Scott Inman, the House Minority leader, brought up a motion to bring the measure to the floor for a vote. The vote to vote failed 26 to 56.

He has promised to try again.