OKLAHOMA CITY - A well-known Oklahoma Republican announced that he is stepping down as a member of Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin's cabinet.
On Thursday, Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb announced his resignation from Fallin's cabinet, where he serves as Oklahoma's Small Business Advocate.
Lamb says he decided to resign after learning about Fallin's proposed tax plan to get the state back on budget.
“Governor Fallin deserves to have someone in her cabinet who can be a strong advocate for her agenda, and that is something I am unwilling to do. While I respect the determination with which Governor Fallin met her obligation to present a balanced budget to the legislature, I cannot support her proposed tax increases. This proposal will adversely harm Oklahoma’s small businesses and families, especially those in our service industry. While Governor Fallin and I have disagreed on issues from time-to-time, our differences on this important topic are so significant they preclude me from continuing to serve on her cabinet.”
Fallin has proposed broadening the state's sales tax base by imposing new fees on more than 100 services, such as plumbing, barbers and attorneys.
That includes adding a state tax on residential utility customers. Utilities already pass on city and county taxes. Municipal utilities and co-ops would not have to pay the state tax.
Her chief of staff told NewsChannel 4 it's time for the state to clean up an outdated tax code that has seen little fundamental change since it was implemented in 1933.
Officials say this resignation does not affect Lamb's role as Lt. Governor.
“In Oklahoma, the Governor and Lt. Governor are separately elected positions. While both are Republicans, at this time Lieutenant Governor Lamb believes it is best for him to vacate the cabinet position,” stated Lamb’s Chief of Staff, Keith Beall. “His decision to resign was made after yesterday’s cabinet meeting in which Governor Fallin maintained her support for taxing 164 services affecting every Oklahoma small business and family,” Beall concluded.