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Oklahoma Court Narrowly Upholds Auto Tax Exemption Removal

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KWGS News File Photo
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The Oklahoma Supreme Court has narrowly upheld the removal of a 1.25 percent sales tax exemption on vehicles sold in Oklahoma.

In a 5-4 decision Thursday, justices ruled that a bill adopted by the Legislature earlier this year is constitutional because it did not levy a new tax, but removed an exemption from an existing tax. The measure is expected to raise about $124 million a year.

The court's majority opinion rejects allegations by the Oklahoma Automobile Dealers Association, an auto dealership and an individual that the legislation violated constitutional guidelines for a "revenue bill" because it was adopted during the final week of the 2017 legislative session and didn't receive 75 percent of the votes in both houses.

Dissenting justices say the measure violates those constitutional guidelines.