6-cent tax increase on gasoline fails

A proposed six-cent per gallon tax on gasoline was defeated in the 2017 legislative session.

But the legislature did pass HB 2433 which effectively raises the excise tax on vehicle purchases by 1.25 percent from the current 3.25 to 4.5 percent which equals the state sales tax.  Even though it is a tax increase, it was labeled a sales tax exemption in order for it to gain legislative approval without a supermajority vote.

Oklahomans currently pay excise tax but no sales tax on vehicle purchases.  Instead of being dedicated to roads, that revenue will go to the general fund.

Rep. Regina Goodwin, D-Tulsa, and Eric Proctor, D-Tulsa, voted against it in the House and Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, voted no in the Senate.

House Bill 1449 by Rep. Dustin Roberts, R-Durant, and Sen. Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma City, imposes annual registration fees of $100 on electric vehicles and $30 on hybrid vehicles, and applying the funds to the State Highway Construction and Maintenance Fund.  Since owners of these vehicles do not pay gas or diesel taxes, the measure was a way to level the playing field so all Oklahoma vehicle owners pay some form of fuel or energy use taxes.

Tulsa area representatives Tom Gann, Eric Proctor, Mike Ritze and Chuck Strohm voted against the tax increase. Senators Nathan Dahm and Bill Brown voted no in the Senate.