Republican Stitt says he wouldn’t vote to repeal tax increases
I’m not going to vote for it. I am not going to vote to repeal that because I think that is looking backwards.” Republican gubernatorial candidate Kevin Stitt
Republican gubernatorial candidate Kevin Stitt says he would not vote to repeal the tax hikes approved by the Legislature in March, though he has previously said that he would not have signed the tax package.
In an interview on KFAQ radio in Tulsa earlier this month, talk show host Pat Campbell asked Stitt whether he would vote to repeal the package if the question made a statewide ballot.
Stitt, of Tulsa, laughed a couple of times before answering.
“How am I personally going to vote?” he said.
“I’m not going to vote for it. I am not going to vote to repeal that because I think that is looking backwards.”
The package raised taxes on cigarettes, motor fuels and some oil and gas production to provide teachers an average annual pay raise of $6,100. In replying to questions at gubernatorial forums last month, Stitt said that he would not have signed the package if he had been governor.
Campbell pointed out that Stitt had signed the pledge proffered by Oklahoma Taxpayers Unite!, the group circulating petitions to place repeal of the tax package on the ballot.
Stitt said, “Yes. What the pledge is talking about is shifting to consumption taxes. That is what the pledge is. The pledge is also reforming state government where we can hire the right people to run the state agencies.”
Ronda VuillemontSmith, one of the leaders of Oklahoma Taxpayers Unite!, said the pledge was to adhere to the principles of the Oklahoma Taxpayers Platform, including fiscal responsibility, limited government, structural reforms, fair taxation and others.
She said, “Voting against the veto, in my opinion, is a vote to raise taxes. It’s pretty black and white.”
Donelle Harder, spokesperson for Stitt, said that Stitt “has said consistently that as governor he is not for new taxes. The one thing we know for certain is that the next governor of Oklahoma is going to inherit a mess because career politicians have been making short-term decisions to keep themselves elected.”
Vuillemont-Smith said the Oklahoma Taxpayers Unite! pledge was also signed by Republican gubernatorial candidates Gary Richardson and Dan Fisher, along with Libertarian gubernatorial candidates Chris Powell and Rex Lawhorn.
Fisher and Richardson said last week that they would vote to repeal the tax hikes if the question makes it to a state ballot.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Mick Cornett, who did not sign the pledge, said at a forum last month that he is glad Gov. Mary Fallin signed the tax package. GOP candidate Gary Jones supported the tax package and has said it mirrored one he proposed. Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb’s campaign manager declined to provide a comment. Lamb has said he would not have signed the tax package.