Stitt Supports Grocery Tax Elimination in Annual Address | Government and politics

FILE – Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt speaks during a press conference on May 17, 2021 in Oklahoma City. Stitt will help kick off the 2022 legislative session with his annual State of the State Address on Monday, February 7, 2022.

Sue Ogrocki – staff, PA

By SEAN MURPHY – Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt touched on familiar themes during his fourth annual state of the state address on Monday — improving health care, education, infrastructure and the state’s business climate. But he also threw his support behind a longstanding priority for Democrats — eliminating the state sales tax on groceries.

The first-term Republican, who faces re-election this year, also presented his executive budget proposal to help kick off the 2022 legislative session.

“Many Oklahomans are already struggling under the weight of record inflation,” Stitt said in prepared remarks for the delivery. “Let’s give them more help this year. Because after all, we need more taxpayers, not more taxes.”

The state currently imposes a 4.5% sales tax on groceries. Local jurisdictions often impose additional sales taxes that can increase the tax rate on groceries to over 10% in many communities.

Stitt also renewed his criticism of the United States Supreme Court’s landmark decision on criminal jurisdiction in Indian Country, known as the McGirt decision.

“From the beginning, I’ve been sounding the alarm about the Supreme Court’s McGirt decision,” Stitt said. “Because I knew then, and I know now, that even a narrow Supreme Court decision can fundamentally change a state.

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