Auditor releases budget proposal after ‘Step Up Oklahoma’ plan fails to pass

OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma leader is proposing a budget compromise to state lawmakers after the latest measure failed to gain the necessary votes.

House Bill 1033, which was a part of the ‘Step Up Oklahoma’ plan, called for increases to tobacco, motor fuel, wind energy and a 4 percent gross production tax.

The measure needed 76 votes to pass, but failed 63 to 35.

Now, Oklahoma State Auditor Gary Jones is proposing a compromise to break the budget stalemate.

"Instead of a one-size fits all, sweeping revenue bill that failed on Monday, I’m proposing a simpler measure that I hope both sides can agree to,” said Jones.

The proposal calls for an increase in the oil and gas gross production tax to 5%, a tax on cigarettes and little cigars of 75 cents and an increase to consumers at the pump of 3 cents for gasoline and 6 cents for diesel.

“This proposal will generate approximately $448 million in revenue and is sufficient to fund a $5,000 pay raise for teachers and raises for state employees,” said Jones. “To make this happen, both sides are being asked to give a little.”

If the measure is heard by lawmakers, it will need a 75 percent majority vote to pass.