The first day of July marked the beginning of a tax increase on gas and cigarettes. In March, Governor Mary Fallin signed the $424 million tax plan just ahead of the teacher walkout. Though not directly linked to teacher pay raises the tax is regarded as the primary source of funding for the raise.
On Sunday, gas prices went up by 3 cents per gallon and drivers who use diesel will pay 6 cents. Smokers will pay an extra dollar for a pack of cigarettes. QuikTrip spokesman Mike Thornbrugh says the extra cigarette tax will impact where they are sold and, ultimately, who gets the tax money but he says the fuel tax is the one that will have an impact on every driver's wallet.
"It's just emotional. People need it all the time, 24 hours a day and they see these big signs with the prices fluctuating. Unfortunately, they've been going up. People will get angry about that," said Thornbrugh.
In response to the increase, a group known as Oklahoma Taxpayers Unite began a petition to have the tax increase placed on the November ballot. A court ruling dealt the petition a setback but the tax increase could still be repealed if the group makes up the required signatures.