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New budget won't offset decade of cuts for some state agencies

New budget won't offset decade of cuts for some state agencies

by Randy Ellis  
Updated: May 6, 2018 5:00 AM CDT

Armed with a record $7.6 billion state budget and $474 million in new taxes and revenue hikes, Oklahoma lawmakers voted this year to boost spending for some agencies that have spent years cutting staff and services.

Teachers will get pay raises averaging $6,100, but new money appropriated for universities, vocational education and agencies like the Office of Juvenile Affairs won't come close to restoring a decade of funding losses for them.

The $474 million in new revenue comes from state legislators having raised the initial tax rate on oil and gas wells from 2 percent to 5 percent, raising the tax on gasoline by 3 cents a gallon and the tax on diesel fuel by 6 cents a gallon, adding a $1 per pack tax on cigarettes, taxing little cigars the same as cigarettes, allowing traditional roulette and dice games in tribal casinos, and requiring third-party online retailers to collect and remit sales tax... FULL ARTICLE

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