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GOP plan to hike taxes, fix budget fails in Oklahoma House

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A Republican-backed plan to increase taxes on cigarettes, fuel and alcohol to help patch the budget and pay for teacher raises has been shot down in the Oklahoma House.

House members voted 54-44 on Tuesday for the proposal, well short of the 76 votes needed for passage. The rejection forces leaders back to the negotiating table to come up with a way to plug an estimated $215 million hole in the budget.

The proposal included a $1.50-per-pack cigarette tax, a 6-cents-per-gallon fuel tax and a tax increase on alcoholic beverages. It also had a $3,000 pay raise for teachers and $1,000 pay hike for some state workers.

But the bill faced bipartisan opposition, especially from Democrats who insisted on an increase in the production tax on oil and natural gas.

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