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Oklahoma Senate leader leaves door open for income tax negotiations with Governor, House Speaker

Abi Ruth Martin
The Oklahoma Legislative Service Bureau
Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat and House Speaker Charles McCall talk ahead of the State of the State address on Feb. 6, 2023.

State lawmakers entered into special session Monday to discuss a quarter of a percent income tax cut for Oklahomans. Immediate changes to the tax code are unlikely. But Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat says a future tax slash could be coming.

Treat still thinks the governor’s call for a special session is a waste of taxpayer money. But, he’s keeping his options open.

“Special sessions do not have the same deadlines of filing bills,” he said. “And so we could turn on a dime a little bit more quickly if we came to some kind of agreement. Or we could get the governor to expand the call if there was some type of agreement between here and the end of regular session, or even beyond.”

Special and regular sessions can be ongoing simultaneously, so Treat says he could restart the tax cut discussion in the future. But, senators won’t be back this week to avoid using state money to pay for their per diems.

On the other side of the Capitol, House members are expected to return for at least two more days this week before they vote on a couple of tax cut bills they’re considering.

The three bills aimed at lowering the state income tax this special session include the following:

  • HB 1001, introduced by Rep. Mark Lepak
  • HB 1002, introduced by House Speaker Charles McCall
  • SB 1XXX, Introduced by Sen. Mark Bergstrom

The measures broadly align with Gov. Kevin Stitt’s plan to cut income taxes, starting with a quarter percent reduction.

This marks the second time in four months in which Stitt has called a special session for tax cuts. 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.

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Lionel Ramos covers state government at KOSU. He joined the station in January 2024.
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