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Fallin: Changes To Sales Tax Collection Could Bring In Millions

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According to the governor, there are more than 1,000 exemptions to the sales tax in Oklahoma. According to the governor, there are more than 1,000 exemptions to the sales tax in Oklahoma.
The latest list of exemptions is a long one; in Oklahoma, it includes everything from churches to funeral home transportation. The latest list of exemptions is a long one; in Oklahoma, it includes everything from churches to funeral home transportation.
Doing away with the exemption on residential utilities could mean more than $100 million for the state alone. Doing away with the exemption on residential utilities could mean more than $100 million for the state alone.
OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma -

In Monday's State of the State Address, Governor Mary Fallin said she didn't want to raise the state sales tax, but does want to change the way it is collected.

According to the governor, there are more than 1,000 exemptions to the sales tax in Oklahoma, while other states, such as Texas, only have 100.

In her State of the State, Fallin spoke about an additional $200 million that could be brought into the state, in part, by eliminating certain sales tax exemptions.

2/1/2016 Related Story: Fallin: Lawmakers Will Face 'Huge Challenges' To Bridge Budget Shortfall

Doing away with the exemption on residential utilities could mean more than $100 million for the state alone.

The latest list of exemptions is a long one; in Oklahoma, it includes everything from churches to funeral home transportation.

One of the largest exempt items is one we are all familiar with, residential utilities. If taxed, it could bring in $102 million a year for the state.

Cameron McPherson said he's on the fence about it.

"I know that we have other ways, I’m sure that we could help raise this money," he said.

Your utility bill could go up as much as eight cents on every dollar. So, say you spend $200 a month on gas and electricity - that would be an extra $16 a month.

2/1/2016 Related Story: Gov. Mary Fallin Delivers State Of The State Address

Shelly Waltrip said she wouldn't mind paying to help balance the state budget, but it still wouldn't be easy to swallow.

Waltrip said, “I also live paycheck to paycheck, so some months it would be OK, and some not so. It’s kind of a yes and no there."

Another thing exempt from sales tax in Oklahoma is prescription medication. If taxed, that could bring in $123 million.

Organizations like the YW and YMCA are also currently exempt. Taxing them statewide would be on a smaller scale - bringing in around $340,000 a year.

Some other examples include:

School Cafeterias; a sales tax on food sold in lunch rooms could add $6.7 million. Newspaper sales would bring in around $10 million, and taxing the sale of property or services to or by churches could bring in $6.1 million.

But at this point, the governor's budget proposal is just that, a proposal.

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