House Bill 1734 isn't the great savings for Oklahoma drivers that supporters have claimed. That's according to State Senator Scott Pruitt, who was one of only two Senators voting against the measure on Tuesday. Pruitt said the legislation is really just smoke and mirrors.
"While it will cut the price of car tags, the flip-side of this is a substantial hike in the excise tax you pay on your vehicle. Supporters have been playing that fact down, but I think Oklahomans would be extremely angry to find out they'd been had," said Senator Pruitt.
Under HB 1734, the excise tax would increase from 3.25 percent to 4.5 percent, an estimated increase of $127 million in taxes.
"And while the excise tax is adjusted to account for the amount of a trade-in, if you decide not to trade-in your vehicle, but to sell it yourself, you don't get that same break on your excise tax," explained Senator Pruitt.
On Wednesday House Republicans held a news conference to explain their opposition to the tag bill, and praised both Senator Pruitt and Senator Glenn Coffee for voting no on HB 1734.
"If legislators truly want to give the people of this state a break, they need to cut both the excise tax as well as the cost of tags. I think anything less is a sham," said Pruitt.