The Oklahoma Legislature has reached an impasse on the so-called sin industries of gambling and cigarettes.
Oklahoma House Minority Leader Scott Inman wants to expand gaming, but his constituents that are republican he should put that concept in his pipe and smoke it.
Both the Oklahoma Senate and House are controlled by the GOP, but that isn’t stopping the minority party from blocking a smoke tax increase proposed by House Republicans.
Democrats in the reduced chamber are doing this in order to give their side leverage in ongoing budget negotiations, and their wishes to expand gambling and allow casinos that are tribal offer roulette and dice games.
Oklahoma lawmakers are searching for ways to close an $878 million funding gap. While Republicans can pass the budget of their choosing, they require a three-fourths vote to raise tobacco cigarette taxes, plus the 26 Democrats in the 101-member House are not budging.
‘We’ve said all along that the cigarette taxation is just a Band-Aid on a bullet hole,’ Oklahoma House Minority Leader Scott Inman (D-District 94) told the Associated Press. ‘You’ve got to have additional revenue.’
This the House and Senate budget committees recommended a $1.50 per cigarette pack tax increase week. To really make the budget whole with only that tariff hike, Oklahomans would need to purchase roughly 585.3 million packages of smokes.
GOP Extinguishes Gambling