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Oklahoma high court mulls challenge to tax for teacher pay

June 11, 2018
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Blake Sonne, general counsel for Professional Oklahoma Educators, gestures as he speaks to the media outside a Supreme Court hearing room in Oklahoma City, Monday, June 11, 2018. Sonne argued before the court against a referendum petition which seeks to repeal House Bill 1010xx, the funding source bill for several education funding measures, including the recent teacher pay raise bill - House Bill 1023xx. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Attorneys representing Oklahoma teachers say a plan to overturn a package of tax hikes for funding teacher pay raises and public schools is deeply flawed and should be tossed by the state’s highest court.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court heard arguments Monday on a plan to ask voters to repeal tax hikes on cigarettes, fuel and energy production approved by the Legislature this year. The money from the taxes was to be used to fund an average $6,100 teacher pay increase.

An anti-tax group led by former U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn has launched a referendum petition seeking a vote to overturn the taxes. But groups representing Oklahoma teachers say the petition is flawed and should be rejected by the court.

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