To the Editor:



Oklahoma may be in a stronger economic position than most states but working families are still going to have to buy gasoline at the going rate which seems to be headed to $4 a gallon.  Our grocery bills are still going to rise far faster than they have in my lifetime because of that increased transportation and fertilizer cost. Yet our legislature could not find a way to ease those burdens by exempting groceries from state sales tax.  This 4%exemption for groceries proposed by Democrat Richard Morrisette would leave sales tax collections in place for all other goods and allow cities and towns to continue to use the state system for all sales tax collections.


To the Editor:

Oklahoma may be in a stronger economic position than most states but working families are still going to have to buy gasoline at the going rate which seems to be headed to $4 a gallon. Our grocery bills are still going to rise far faster than they have in my lifetime because of that increased transportation and fertilizer cost. Yet our legislature could not find a way to ease those burdens by exempting groceries from state sales tax. This 4 percent exemption for groceries proposed by democrat Richard Morrisette would leave sales tax collections in place for all other goods and allow cities and towns to continue to use the state system for all sales tax collections.

If a family didn't have to pay state sales tax on groceries, $600 worth of groceries would  only cost $627 instead of $651. That's $24 savings on a minimal monthly grocery bill or $288 a year. For many families that $288 could make a difference between adequate nutrition for a small child, purchase of a much needed medical service, or enough gas money to get to work to hold down a job.
 
Unfortunately our state legislature couldn't find a way to ease that tax burden that would have helped every person in the state rich and poor alike. Meanwhile, during the same week, they passed another 60 million dollar tax exemption to bring the Super Sonics to Oklahoma City, added another 22.1 million in tax breaks for the oil industry to the 159.7 million they gave them last year. They even found that they could afford to help investors in gold and precious coins, making their profits non taxable. I didn't look at every bill so I have a feeling there are a lot more special breaks that I didn't list. 
 
It's unfortunate that the working people of Oklahoma can't afford a lobbyist to work with the legislature on behalf of their interests because it appears that the majority of our legislators can only support tax relief suggested by lobbyists. Pleas for relief from everyday folks are just not loud enough to rise above the constant din of gimme this and gimmee that they listen to every day from the special interests.  

Jo. Davis,

Shawnee