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Oklahoma House unveils budget plan amid stalemate with upper chamber 


Oklahoma House unveils budget plan amid stalemate with upper chamber 

Apr 16, 2024 | 4:57 pm ET
By Barbara Hoberock
Oklahoma House unveils budget plan amid stalemate with upper chamber聽
House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, left, and Kevin Wallace, R-Wellston, unveil the House's proposed budget at a press conference on Tuesday. (Photo by Barbara Hoberock/Oklahoma Voice)

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma House leaders on Tuesday rolled out a nearly $13 billion budget proposal that includes an income tax cut.

Tuesday’s announcement comes as House and Senate leaders have been at a budget impasse for over a week. 

Senators accused the House of not releasing its budget numbers and refused to hear House budget bills in its Appropriations Committee until the figures were provided. 

The committee is now set to meet Thursday.

The Senate earlier this year released its proposed budget, outlining the upper chamber’s spending priorities.

The House’s spending priorities include the tax cut and increased funding for law enforcement, roads, education and bridges, said House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka.

“The House believes that the people of the state of Oklahoma need to get a pay raise through a tax cut,” McCall said. “We need to first address that before we address some other spending matters of the state.”

The House is calling for a .25 % income tax cut from the current  rate of 4.75%.

The Senate, several times, has balked at additional income tax cuts. 

Lawmakers and Gov. Kevin Stitt earlier this year approved elimination of the state’s 4.5% sales tax on groceries.

“We are not going to give up on tax cuts for the state of Oklahoma,” McCall said. “Our revenues are still increasing. They have increased $6 billion on a recurring basis over the last six years. We have only cut taxes a quarter of a percent.”

The annualized cost of a .25% cut would cost about $230 million, said House Appropriations and Budget Chairman Kevin Wallace, R-Wellston.

The House budget plan is 4.21% less than what was appropriated last year, Wallace said.

He said the House budget leaves $4.87 billion in savings and cash. 

The Senate’s budget has a $13.7 billion price tag, Wallace said.

The House has posted its budget on its website.

Both chambers and Stitt must agree on a balanced budget. Lawmakers must adjourn by 5 p.m. May 31.