Republican Senator Randy Brogdon of Owasso said today that the state and Native American tribes should enter into arbitration to the fix tobacco tax problems.
“I would encourage the governor and the tribes to start the process for arbitration to fix the current tobacco tax structure. This needs to happen quickly to help stop the bleeding of the non-tribal retail stores and to help the state to start collecting the proper amount in tax dollars for the health care programs.
“Gov. Henry and Treasurer Meacham over-promised and under-delivered on their tobacco tax proposal for the state. The governor was out-negotiated by the tribes on state-tribal compacts, and then Mr. Meacham jeopardized the state’s relations with the tribes by accusing them of ‘cheating’ and ‘skimming’ instead of working with them to resolve tobacco tax disparity issues. The tribes negotiated the best deals they could with the state, and you can’t blame them if they took full advantage of the poor negotiating skills of the governor and Mr. Meacham,” stated Brogdon.
Brogdon also said the longer it takes to fix the tobacco tax the further behind the state will get in revenue collections and the longer the non-tribal retail business continue to hemorrhage customers.
“There is strong support within the Senate Republican Caucus to fix the tobacco tax sooner rather than later so these problems don’t continue to worsen,” Brogdon said.