Tulsa auto dealership vehicles

Vehicles are pictured at a car dealership in 2016. A lawsuit has been filed seeking to stop an increase in sales tax on vehicles set to go into effect on Saturday. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World file

OKLAHOMA CITY — Car dealers are asking the Oklahoma Supreme Court to prevent a law putting a sales tax on vehicles from taking effect.

Lawmakers passed House Bill 2433. The measure removes the sales-tax exemption on vehicles, thus imposing a 1.25 percent tax on top of the existing 3.25 percent excise tax.

The measure is set to take effect Saturday.

It is expected to generate slightly more than $123 million for the fiscal year 2018 budget.

Lawmakers had $878 million less to spend in crafting the fiscal year 2018 budget.

The suit alleges that the measure is in violation of a requirement that tax increases receive a super majority vote in the House and Senate. The measure did not obtain a super majority in either chamber.

The suit also alleges the measure is in violation of a prohibition against passage of revenue raising measures in the last five days of the legislative session, which ended May 26.

The bill passed the House on May 24. The measure received Senate approval on May 26.

“It has not been and cannot be questioned that HB 2433 was enacted for the sole purpose of raising revenue,” according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed Friday.

Plaintiffs are the Oklahoma Automobile Dealers Association, Battison Honda and Caitlin Cannon of Ponca City. The association’s memberships consists of about 300 new car, truck and heavy-duty truck dealers.

The Oklahoma Tax Commission is the defendant.

The suit asks the court to prevent the Oklahoma Tax Commission from enforcing the measure.

Earlier this month, tobacco companies and others filed suit against a measure that adds a $1.50 “smoking cessation fee” to cigarettes. Lawmakers could not secure the need votes to pass it as a tax.

The Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments in that matter for Aug. 8.

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Barbara Hoberock



Twitter: @bhoberock

Capitol Bureau Writer

Barbara has covered the statehouse since 1994. She covers politics, appellate courts and state agencies. She has worked for the Tulsa World since 1990. Phone: 405-528-2465

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