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Lawmakers rethinking three-fourths tax law

OKLAHOMA CITY  As lawmakers continue to struggle to find enough consensus to raise new revenue, a growing number of legislators say it might be time to ask voters to consider overhauling a law passed a quarter century ago.

State Sen. Kim David, R-Porter, is among the lawmakers who believes it's time for Oklahomans to consider modernizing the 25-year-old law requiring the approval of three-quarters of lawmakers to raise new taxes. The measure also prohibits lawmakers from raising taxes in the final week of session.

Voters passed the 1992 measure, better known as State Question 640, after a small majority of lawmakers approved a big tax hike, David said during a budget debate this month.

"I understand why 640 was passed, and I appreciate why it was passed," said David, who serves as chair of Senate appropriations. "I would like to see the threshold lowered a little. Something a little more reasonable because obviously not another tax increase has ever been passed by this body since then."

Observers say the current law leaves Oklahoma with one of the toughest taxation laws in the country.

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