The House Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget met late this evening and, among other measures, passed two bills that raised over $381,000,000 in new revenue.
SB845: Creates the “Smoking Cessation Act of 2017”. Bill proposes to assess a fee of $1.50 per pack of cigarettes to be paid by the wholesaler. Estimated Fiscal Impact: $257,841,000
HB2433: Bill proposes to amend the sales tax exemption for motor vehicles to provide that a portion of the state sales tax levy (1.25%) will apply to sales of motor vehicles. Estimated Fiscal Impact: $123,383,000
How this gets around the State Constitution Article 5, Section 33 (SQ640) is beyond me:
Late last night, the House Joint Committee on Appropriations & Budget (JCAB) rejected a measure designed to cut non-essential agency spending on promotional items and other trinkets (the “anti-swag” bill).Presented by Rep. George Faught (R-Mus…
OCPA announces intent to file Supreme Court challenge of income tax increase
OKLAHOMA CITY (May 22, 2017) – Today, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed House Bill 2403 by a vote of 56 to 40. The bill would restrict itemized deductions in order to increase personal income tax collections by more than $101 million annually.
Jonathan Small, president of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, issued the following statement after today’s vote on HB 2403:
“House Bill 2403 is an unconstitutional tax hike on working Oklahoma families and senior citizens. Should House Bill 2403 become law, we intend to challenge its constitutionality at the Oklahoma Supreme Court as a violation of State Question 640.
“House Bill 2403 is designed to raise revenue for state government, but it passed the state House of Representatives with far less than a three-fourths vote. This makes it a blatant violation of Oklahoma’s Constitution, suggesting our state’s highest Court would strike it down.
“This bill is an income tax increase of over $101 million a year that targets Oklahomans who own a home with a mortgage, who pay property taxes that support local schools and other services, or who are being crushed by heavy medical bills.
David Van Risseghem of SoonerPolitics.org created Capitol Chatter, a Facebook page to keep track of events and news at the State Capitol. With the ongoing and ever-changing budget negotiations, this informative page will help keep you in the loop.
You can view some of the latest posts below. Be sure to ‘like’ the page on Facebook in order to keep p with the latest.
This afternoon, OKGOP Chair Pam Pollard posted her take on the state budget situation, as negotiations between Republican and Democratic leadership appear to have stalled once again, likely setting up a special session (either after the regular session…
THE HARD CHOICE
Last week I wrote a column that was very critical of our Governor Mary Fallin; while I do not want to be accused of beating a dead horse, the issue of the state budget needs to be of concern to every citizen of Oklahoma. In a recent article Governor Fallin threatened to veto any budget that that contains deep cuts to state agencies. At a Capitol news conference surrounded by state employees, heath care providers, agency heads and others, she made the comment that she has had to make some hard votes because the citizens of this state are demanding that no agencies or core services will have devastating cuts. I have noticed that politicians such as Fallin like to surround themselves with doomsday prophets that, for the most part, feed at the public trough. I have also found that making hard choices with someone else’s money is a whole lot easier than making hard choices with one’s own money. Making hard choices is definitely not limited to the government class; I would like to share the kind of hard choices we in the private sector have to make every day.
Republican Businessman Brian Walters Announces for Senate District 45 Seat
South Oklahoma City businessman Brian Walters announced today that he will be a Republican candidate in the special election to fill the vacant Senate District 45 seat.
“Given the financial problems our state government faces, we need people with real-world experience dealing with large-scale financial forecasting and budgeting,” Walters said. “I have an extensive background in financial planning and business development. That quality is glaringly lacking at the Oklahoma Capitol, which is one reason the state keeps generating huge shortfalls year-in and year-out.”
Walters is owner of an estate settlement service company, helping families deal with the challenges of addressing business and estate issues after losing a loved one. Prior to that, Walters was Director of Finance and Administration for a farm equipment company, overseeing more than $100 million in revenue. In that position, he developed analytics and benchmarks for monthly operating results and financial reviews including budgets, revenue and inventory forecasts. Throughout his career, he has been responsible for financial operations at several business organizations.
Facing a shortfall of $878M, legislators have just a few days left to figure out how to deal with it. Friday, May 19th, is the final day that the Oklahoma Legislature can hear and pass any new “revenue raising” (i.e. tax hiking) legislation without goi…