Oklahoma business leaders support tax hikes, other changes

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders is announcing support for a broad swathe of tax hikes to support a $5,000 teacher pay raise and other changes like more appointment power for the governor and longer term limits for state legislators.

The group "Step Up Oklahoma " held a press conference Thursday in Oklahoma City. Among its supporters are Devon Energy co-founder Larry Nichols and BancFirst Executive Chairman David Rainbolt.

Its proposals include lowering the supermajority for the Legislature to pass tax increases from 75 percent to 60 percent. It also supports increasing legislative term limits to 16 years and giving the Oklahoma governor direct appointment authority over the largest state agencies.

The group also supports hiking taxes on cigarettes, motor fuel, energy production and some personal income.

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