A massive tax increase proposal by Gov. Mary Fallin has drawn opposition from conservative Republicans, including Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb.
Lamb announced his resignation from Fallin’s cabinet, where Lamb has served as the state’s Small Business Advocate, one of many roles the lieutenant governor fills.
This resignation does not affect Lamb’s role as Lt. Governor.
“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,” Lamb said. “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.”
Lawmakers have lined up to pledge to fight Fallin’s proposals.
“Those of us in the legislature who are small business owners understand the devastating impact this would have on small businesses, the backbone of the Oklahoma economy, and on consumers,” said State Rep. George Faught, R-Muskogee. “We need to fight for those we represent and stop this tax increase dead in its tracks.”
“Putting a massive, 1.7 billion dollar tax increase on Oklahomans will serve to hurt our economy just as it is beginning to recover, ” said State Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow. “This approach is fundamentally flawed.”
“Just three months ago, Oklahoma voters overwhelmingly voted down a $615,000,000 sales tax increase, ” said State Rep. John Bennett, R-Sallisaw. “That message should be heard loud and clear by the Governor and by legislative leadership: Oklahomans don’t want more taxes.”
“I am excited to see our conservatives being willing to make the tough decisions instead of taking the easy way out in taxes. We have got to deal with the tax credits and the spending for unnecessary functions of our Government. I fully support Todd Lamb and appreciate his bold stand,” said State Rep. Kevin McDugle, R-Broken Arrow.
“Last session, I vehemently fought against a service tax because it will add an incredible burden on our service industry. The Governor’s proposal is asking our small business owners to work all day and then come home and spend another hour or two on unnecessary paperwork rather than spending time with their families. I applaud Lamb’s decision.” said Rep. Chuck Strohm, R-Jenks.
“Republicans opposed a similar Democrat plan in 2003, saying ‘This is a job-killing proposal that would damage the weak Oklahoma economy,”said State Sen. Marty Quinn, R-Claremore. “What was true back then is true now, and Republicans should oppose this plan as well.”
The following conservative legislators also pledged to do what they can to stop this tax increase from becoming law:
State Rep. David Brumbaugh, R-Broken Arrow
State Rep. Kevin Calvey, R-Oklahoma City
State Rep. Bobby Cleveland, R-Slaughterville
State Rep. Lewis Moore, R-Edmond
State Rep. Mike Ritze, R-Broken Arrow
State Sen. Mark Allen, R-Spiro
State Sen. James Leewright, R-Bristow
State Sen. Anthony Sykes, R-Moore