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'Making Cents: The Penny Sales Tax Debate'

Panelists at the FOX 25 town hall 'Making Cents: The Penny Sales Tax Debate' listen to a question from the audience. (KOKH)

“Making Cents: The Penny Sales Tax Debate”

State Question 779, officially called the Oklahoma Education Improvement Fund, and commonly referred to as the “Boren Tax,” — in reference to University of Oklahoma President David Boren's spokesperson status for the initiative — seeks to raise the state sales tax rate by one cent per dollar with a bulk of the new revenue going to teacher salaries.


School reading programs, early childhood education, colleges and career technology centers would also receive a piece of the funding pie.


Supporters of the tax increase say it's a response to years of education budget cuts, one of the lowest average teacher salaries in the nation and a growing shortage of teachers as many flee the state or avoid the profession altogether.

The opposition is being led by cities and towns fearful the tax will hinder their own efforts to use sales tax revenue for general funds and special projects. Anti-tax organizations have also warned passage of SQ 779 would give Oklahoma one of the highest average sales tax rates in the nation.

Our panel and moderator fielded questions from the crowd and viewers online. Watch the town hall in it's entirety above.


Panel:

Steve Agee, Dean OCU Business College/ Against 779

Dave Bond/OCPA Impact/Against 779

Amber England/Stand for Children OK/For 779

Shawn Hime, executive director of the Oklahoma State School Boards Association/For 779

Moderator:

Mark Hyman

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