With a few days to go until the 2017 Oklahoma Legislature adjourns and a $878 million dollar budget shortfall looming over Oklahoma, we have heard every thing from increasing taxes on oil production to fuel and cigarettes. There has been very little discussion from capitol leadership and the media on cutting waste and then only using our dollars for core functions of government.
One example of how seriously our legislature is taking the budget crisis: Last night the House Joint Committee On Appropriations & Budget rejected legislation by Representative George Faught which would cut $30 million dollars of waste that the state spends on swag (pins, pens, stickers, calendars, etc.). http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/cf/2017-18%20SUPPORT%20DOCUMENTS/votes/House/HB2405_VOTES.HTM
But apparently our “wise” public servants are obsessed with milking you the Taxpayer for more dollars to quench their thirst for bloated government instead of getting to work on much needed cuts.
Now the legislature is working on a plan to change the $1.50 cigarette tax proposal to a “fee” to avoid the Constitutional requirement of needing a 3/4 vote of the legislature to pass a tax. This plan also hosts a 1.25 percent levy on the sale of new and used vehicles.
House Leadership claims the new vehicle levy doesn’t violate the 3/4 vote Constitutional requirement because the levy removes an exemption.
The Tax, Tax, Tax Crowd on Lincoln Boulevard may think they are almost home free on raiding your pockets again or are they? It appears a wrench may have been thrown into their plans. https://www.sos.ok.gov/documents/questions/640.pdf
A State Constitutional requirement passed in the early nineties with the 3/4 legislative votes requirement for raising taxes as well with a provision which prohibits the legislature from passing REVENUE increase measures within 5 days of the legislature adjourning. Taxes as well as fees are all viewed as revenue by the State of Oklahoma, so we shall see if the powers that be on Lincoln Boulevard have any more tricks in their bag of tricks. Stop the semantics game and cut spending!￼