Oklahoma representative says bill had unexpected impact on trucking industry

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 OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma lawmaker says he is working to fix an issue for the trucking industry that was created during the last legislative session.

Last session, lawmakers decided to remove an exemption related to a 1.25 percent tax on motor vehicles.

Now, Oklahomans purchasing a vehicle will have to pay a 1.25 percent tax on top of the 3.25 percent excise tax.

Removing that exemption is expected to generate $123 million within the next fiscal year.

Last month, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that the bill is constitutional since lawmakers only removed an exemption, and did not implement a new tax.

“Applying a test we have utilized since 1908, we conclude that HB 2433 ‘does not levy a tax in the strict sense’ because it removes a tax exemption from an already levied tax rather than levying a new tax,” the court ruled.

However, one Oklahoma state representative says that the measure had an unexpected impact on the trucking industry.

Majority Floor Leader Jon Echols announced on Thursday that he will file legislation next session to clarify that the removal of the exemption should not apply to the purchase or transfer of semi-trucks.

“We certainly want to protect the trucking industry in Oklahoma because of their contribution to job growth and economic development in our state,” said Echols.“We want to continue to be a primary destination for both large and small companies to tag their long-haul transportation vehicles. We will look at a legislative fix in the coming months, and I anticipate the Governor and Senate will support that effort.”