Last year, Governor Mary Fallin disgraced herself by walking through the House chamber, groveling for votes among the Democrats, to get massive new sales taxes on tobacco products.
The massive tax campaign that Fallin and Speaker Hickman's leadership team pushed on the house had conservatives stunned and disoriented. There was no organized voice to rally around for the 25 or so fiscal conservatives. Had the Democrats not 'doubled down' and opposed all budget-balancing measures until an ObamaCare state exchange was approved; the new taxes might have passed into law.
Some of the Legislators took note and prepared themselves for this potentiality, where they would have to oppose Republican leaders on some issues - namely massive new taxes.
Today the 'lever was pulled' and some Senators even joined the cause. This letter contains 5 Senators' signatures and 9 Representatives. We expect the movement will gain several more House members and perhaps the Senate core team will double in ranks.
Oklahoma City – A group of conservative Oklahoma legislators today expressed support for Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb's decision to resign from Governor Fallin's cabinet over her plan to dramatically increase Oklahomans' sales tax burden.
Lamb stepped down from his cabinet position as Small Business Advocate, saying, "While I respect the determination with which Governor Fallin met her obligation to present a balanced budget to the legislature, I cannot support her proposed tax increases. This proposal will adversely harm Oklahoma’s small businesses and families, especially those in our service industry."
In her State of the State address, Governor Fallin presented a plan that would tax 164 different categories of services provided by Oklahoma small businesses and entrepreneurs. By the governor's own estimate, this would result in a tax hike of over $1,700,000,000.00.
"Those of us in the legislature who are small business owners understand the devastating impact this would have on small businesses, the backbone of the Oklahoma economy, and on consumers," said State Rep. George Faught (R-Muskogee). "We need to fight for those we represent and stop this tax increase dead in its tracks."
"Putting a massive, 1.7 billion dollar tax increase on Oklahomans will serve to hurt our economy just as it is beginning to recover," said State Sen. Nathan Dahm (R-Broken Arrow). "This approach is fundamentally flawed."
"Tax increases kill jobs. Just as families must trim their budgets when their income goes down, government should trim spending when revenue dips, instead of raising taxes. Too many politicians lack the courage to say NO to big-spending government bureaucrats," said Rep. Kevin Calvey (R-Oklahoma City).
"Just three months ago, Oklahoma voters overwhelmingly voted down a $615,000,000 sales tax increase," said State Rep. John Bennett (R-Sallisaw). "That message should be heard loud and clear by the Governor and by legislative leadership: Oklahomans don't want more taxes."
"I am excited to see our conservatives being willing to make the tough decisions instead of taking the easy way out in taxes. We have got to deal with the tax credits and the spending for unnecessary functions of our Government. I fully support Todd Lamb and appreciate his bold stand," said State Rep. Kevin McDugle (R-Broken Arrow).
"Last session, I vehemently fought against a service tax because it will add an incredible burden on our service industry. The Governor's proposal is asking our small business owners to work all day and then come home and spend another hour or two on unnecessary paperwork rather than spending time with their families. I applaud Lamb's decision." says Rep. Chuck Strohm (R-Jenks).
"Republicans opposed a similar Democrat plan in 2003, saying 'This is a job-killing proposal that would damage the weak Oklahoma economy'", said State Sen. Marty Quinn (R-Claremore). "What was true back then is true now, and Republicans should oppose this plan as well."
Citing their fundamental disagreements with Gov. Fallin's proposed tax hike, the following conservative legislators pledged to do what they can to stop this tax increase from becoming law:
State Rep. John Bennett (R-Sallisaw)
State Rep. David Brumbaugh (R-Broken Arrow)
State Rep. Kevin Calvey (R-Oklahoma City)
State Rep. Bobby Cleveland (R-Slaughterville)
State Rep. George Faught (R-Muskogee)
State Rep. Kevin McDugle (R-Broken Arrow)
State Rep. Lewis Moore (R-Edmond)
State Rep. Mike Ritze (R-Broken Arrow)
State Rep. Chuck Strohm (R-Jenks)
State Sen. Mark Allen (R-Spiro)
State Sen. Nathan Dahm (R-Broken Arrow)
State Sen. James Leewright (R-Bristow)
State Sen. Marty Quinn (R-Claremore)
State Sen. Anthony Sykes (R-Moore)