Step Up Organizers Expect Close Call In House

The Step Up Oklahoma revenue plan was within a vote of having enough support to pass the House of Representatives, BancFirst Executive Chairman David Rainbolt said Monday.

Rainbolt is a supporting member of the organization, which has proposed more than half a billion dollars worth of tax increases meant to prevent another budget shortfall and help shore up this year's budget obligations.

"It's going to be a close call today. The outcome is not at all certain," said Rainbolt.

House Bill 1033 would need 76 votes to pass the House and advance to the Senate, where the support is more favorable. House lawmakers are scheduled to kick off Monday's session at 1:30 p.m., but consideration of the bill, debate and the roll call could push the the outcome well into the afternoon.

"There's one group on one side that say this tax package is too big. To them, I would say 67 percent of all Republicans in our polling want this to happen now," said Rainbolt. "The other side of the coin is, 'This tax package is too small.' There's going to be another opportunity soon. We haven't seen an opportunity like this in over 30 years and we would submit this is the last, best chance of Oklahoma, the state we love, the state we live in, avoiding a financial apocalypse.

Meanwhile, hundreds of teachers rallied in the Capitol rotunda. They showed up Monday to urge support for a $5,000 pay increase that's part of the Step Up Oklahoma plan. The raise would be paid for with tax increases that are found in House Bill 1033.

The tax increase proposal includes the following:

• A gross production tax increase from 2 percent to 4 percent on all wells

• A 6-cent tax hike on gasoline and diesel fuel

• A $1.50 cigarette tax

• Adds a tax on wind energy production of $1 per megawatt hour

Stay Informed: Read all the coverage from the Oklahoma state capitol
Related to this story

> Educators rally at Oklahoma Capitol to support teacher pay raises > As teachers rally, Oklahoma lawmakers scheduled to vote on tax increases > Step Up Oklahoma Rally > Rep. Inman to vote no on Step Up > Step Up Oklahoma Representatives speak to press ahead of vote

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Step Up Organizers Expect Close Call In House


Step Up Organizers Expect Close Call In House