The city of Tulsa plans to file suit against the state over recently adopted legislation that requires municipalities to contract with the state Tax Commission to collect their sales tax revenues, a city official said last week.
Tulsa officials signed an agreement on June 1 with an Alabama-based firm to collect its share of sales tax revenue from private businesses, a move that appeared to put the city in conflict with a bill passed by the Legislature just a few days earlier that effectively banned the privatization of sales tax collections. Gov. Brad Henry signed the bill on June 10, though the measure did not go into effect until July 1.
Terry Simonson, Mayor Dewey Barlett Jr.'s chief of staff, indicated in an e-mail to Urban Tulsa last week that the city intends to challenge the new law in court.
"I believe we have determined that the first step would be to file suit against the State of Oklahoma for passing the legislation that we believe may be unconstitutional and to have a court ruling on our suit before we move forward with the firm," he wrote. "This way we can be certain that we have cleared away any legal issues with the legislation and be set to move ahead with the firm. That's our plan at this point."
Simonson did not respond to several messages seeking further explanation.
City officials believe a private firm can collect the city's share of sales tax revenue more effectively and cheaply than the Tax Commission. Simonson has said previously the city intends to begin using the private firm, Revenue Discovery Systems of Birmingham, Ala., on Nov. 1.
Share this article: