© 2024 KOSU
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Oklahoma's special tax cut session will end moments after it starts

Oklahoma Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat and Gov. Kevin Stitt shake hands after the State of the State address on Feb. 6, 2023.
Abi Ruth Martin
Oklahoma Legislative Service Bureau
Oklahoma Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat and Gov. Kevin Stitt shake hands after the State of the State address on Feb. 6, 2023.

Gov. Kevin Stitt wants to slash Oklahomans’ income taxes, and he wants to see which state lawmakers agree with him. So he called a special session to accomplish those goals.

He’s getting neither, at least on the Senate side.

Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat says his chamber will simply gavel in and gavel out on Monday, when they are constitutionally obligated to go into special session.

Treat says Stitt’s choice to call a session now is political theater. He said the legislature hasn’t even determined how much money there is to spend on making up for lost tax revenue.

“During the regular session and only after we have certified numbers from the Board of Equalization, is when we will know how much we have to spend,” Treat said. “I feel like the governor’s numbers compared to what we are seeing are simply not accurate.”

Stitt lashed out at Treat in a statement.

“All I asked was for Senator Treat to put a quarter-point tax cut up for a vote," Stitt said in a written statement. "The Senate is refusing to do what 65% of Oklahomans support: cutting taxes. If anything is a waste of taxpayer money, it is the refusal of Senate leadership to give Oklahomans a well-deserved pay raise.”

While it’s unclear what the House of Representatives will do, House Speaker Charles McCall has indicated he might hold a vote. He’s filed five bills for the regular session — beginning the first Monday in February — that would slash income taxes.

This marks the second time in four months in which Stitt has called a special session for tax cuts, only to be thwarted by Treat. In October's special session, Treat quickly adjourned the Senate after Stitt refused to appear at a committee meeting to lay out a plan to backfill funding losses caused by proposed tax cuts.

* indicates required

Updated: January 24, 2024 at 5:52 PM CST
This story was updated to add comment from Gov. Kevin Stitt on Jan. 24 at 5:52 p.m.
Lionel Ramos covers state government at KOSU. He joined the station in January 2024.
KOSU is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.
Related Content