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Oklahoma Supreme Court to hear lawsuits against new fees

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Oklahoma State Capitol

OKLAHOMA CITY – Three lawsuits that challenge revenue-raising measures adopted by Oklahoma lawmakers are scheduled to be argued before the state’s highest court.

Oral arguments will be presented before the Oklahoma Supreme Court Tuesday in lawsuits challenging hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue that was passed to help close an $878 million hole in the budget for the fiscal year that began July 1 and avoid large cuts to state agencies and services.

A lawsuit challenging a $1.50 fee on a pack of cigarettes alleges it’s an unconstitutional “tax” that violates a state constitutional prohibition against passing revenue-raising measures in the final five days of a legislative session and without a supermajority of lawmakers.

The other lawsuits make similar allegations, including one by auto dealers challenging a new vehicle sales tax.