Cigarette tax hike down in Oklahoma House, but not out
by Dale Denwalt,

The Oklahoma House couldn’t muster enough votes to raise the cigarette tax rate on Monday, potentially throwing budget talks into more of a tailspin.

The measure needed 76 votes to pass unimpeded, but the final tally was 63 to 34. Both Republicans and Democrats voted against it, but the Democrats have said they have enough votes to put it over the edge if Republicans also move a production tax on oil and gas.

Instead of passing into law, the measure is now considered a legislative referendum that can be put on the next general election ballot. However, it still needs to pass the Senate.

The cigarette tax could have raised $215 million for the nearly-$1 billion budget shortfall, and it was a centerpiece to the House GOP’s revenue package.

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