A few weeks ago, Texas County resident Mitchell Stout began a petition effort to Oklahoma U.S. Senators James Inholfe, James Lankford and Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz for the Oklahoma Panhandle to join Texas. Below is taken from Mitchell Stout’s petition:
The Oklahoma panhandle funds a large part of the states budget but receives minimal return. This is forcing the three panhandle counties to maintain high sales taxes up towards 9.5%, higher property taxes, close schools, cut local programs, potential closure of hospitals, and lack of highway maintenance. Teachers are crossing the state line to teach in Texas do to the panhandle only being 35 miles wide, making travel worth the expense.
By joining the state of Texas, the Panhandle citizens will no longer have a state income tax, teaches pay scale will higher, the Texas funds their panhandle better than Oklahoma funds it’s panhandle, and Texas does not have a grocery tax.
Texas will benefit from the OK panhandle, because of the increase of tax revenue without having to shoulder the extra burden do to the OK panhandle being primarily self funded.
I am a citizen of the Oklahoma panhandle, and have watched the lack of funding by the state cause local governments drop programs, close schools, and now potentially now close down Texas County Memorial Hospital, mean while the OKC spent two million dollars on the governors mansion. Texas may not care too much about its panhandle, but it’s funded better than the Oklahoma panhandle.