"As the sales tax erodes,” Dean said, "utility rates and other fees increase to offset the loss.” She said this could hurt families more. However, other proposed legislation would lower the tax rate or allow municipalities to continue collecting the tax.
Is the timing right?David Blatt at the Oklahoma Policy Institute said he thinks taxing groceries is a mistake because it unfairly targets low and moderate-income Oklahomans. But he said now is not the time to eliminate the estimated $300 million a year the state receives from grocery taxes. "Given the state’s worsening budget situation, to say that the Legislature is going to eliminate the grocery tax is unrealistic this year,” he said. Instead, Blatt advocates expanding the grocery tax credit so more families can qualify for the rebate and get more money from it. For Doyle, the state losing a little revenue to help feed hungry families is a hard choice he thinks needs to be made. "It would affect everybody, from the single people to the large family positively” he said.