Democrats in the Oklahoma House reportedly got part of their wish to raise the gross production tax on oil and gas and also eliminate a sales tax exemption for the wind industry. But Gov. Mary Fallin denies it and said so in a late Thursday afternoon announcement.
“Let me just start out by stating bluntly—-there is no budget deal,” declared the Governor. “First off, if I had reached a budget deal, I would have announced it.”
She confirmed Inman met with her senior staff for budget talks on Wednesday but suggested someone’s not telling the truth.
“Our state is facing serious budget challenges. It’s important to have thoughtful, honest negotiations with all parties,” said Gov. Fallin.
Democratic Leader, Rep. Scott Inman announced earlierThursday that he and others in the House settled for a 5 percent gross production tax rather than 7 percent as they demanded a week ago in a holdout against any budget agreement.
The alleged agreement includes also a six-cent a gallon tax on gasoline and the addition of taxes on luxury services according to a report on News 9.
Rep. Inman called it a “possible budget agreement” with Republicans including Senate leaders and Gov. Mary Fallin. He described the deal as a six-point compromise, admitting Democrats made some concessions in order to do something about the $215 million budget hole that resulted in the special session of the legislature.
A $1.50 cigarette tax is included in the reported agreement, a tax that had been struck down by the State Supreme Court over the way it was created in the waning days of the regular legislative session.
Inman told reporters Thursday morning at the capitol the plan will create $560 million in revenue and money to fund a $2,000 pay hike for public school teachers.
If there really is a deal as Rep. Inman claims, House Speaker Charles McCall isn’t admitting it.
“There is no agreement in place,” said his spokesman Jason Sutton. “The speaker has been in negotiations with Senate leadership and the governor’s office and throughout the week.”