LAWTON, OK (KSWO) – A representative for southwest Oklahoma says he voted 'no' on a proposed budget plan because of the tax increases it would bring citizens.
Jeff Coody represents District 61, which covers parts of Comanche and Tillman Counties.
The bill, which failed to receive enough votes on Wednesday, would have raised taxes on cigarettes and oil production. It needed 76 votes to pass and only got 71.
Lawmakers said the entire package would have generated $430 million in recurring revenue each year and would have laid the groundwork for teacher pay raises, but Coody said it would have come at a huge cost.
It was the largest tax increase in the history of the state of Oklahoma. Our economy is just beginning to come together and come back. The oil industry is starting to come back and the last thing you want to do in the beginning stage of an economic recovery is launch a massive tax increase," Coody said.
Coody said he is fully behind funding teacher pay raises but doesn't think that taxing the citizens is the answer. He was back up at the capitol Thursday for more discussions and said he is optimistic the special session will wrap up by next week.