Sen. Randy Brogdon and Rep. Eric Proctor have filed legislation to end Oklahoma’s state sales tax on groceries by July 1, 2009. Brogdon, R-Owasso, is the principal author of Senate Bill 600, which would end the 4.5 percent state sales tax on groceries. The tax exemption would not apply to alcohol or tobacco products since they are taxed at the wholesale level.
“If we want to pass tax relief that will genuinely help every single person in Oklahoma, then we need to end the state sales tax on groceries,” Brogdon said. “Families will be able to use that savings to buy clothing or other necessities for their children, and seniors already struggling on fixed incomes would be able to purchase more of the things they need as well. Those dollars will go right back into our economy.”
While local municipalities currently cannot levy a sales tax on items exempted by the state, Brogdon stressed SB 600 would amend that provision so that those entities could continue to collect sales taxes on food and beverages if they so choose. “This means local governments would still have that much-needed funding source,” Brogdon said.
Proctor, D-Tulsa, will carry SB 600 in the House. He said it was important to find ways to approve tax relief that will both help Oklahomans have greater purchasing power and put more money into local economies, “Senate Bill 600 will help us achieve both goals,” Proctor said. “Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia do not impose a sales tax on groceries. It’s time for Oklahoma to eliminate this tax as well.”
“We are extremely proud to offer this bipartisan effort to help the citizens of our state, especially during these difficult financial times,” Brogdon said. “I hope that my fellow legislators in both chambers will join us in supporting this measure.”