Government Bytes


Oklahomans Should Dodge New Debt, Cap Property Taxes

by Lee Schalk / /

It is a busy election year in the Sooner state, and four major state-wide ballot votes will put a lot on the line for taxpayers and businesses.

A 3 percent property tax cap to limit future increases, a separate proposal to eliminate ‘intangible’ personal property taxes, and elimination of the Department of Human Services, are all measures that will reduce the burden of Oklahoma’s government. The one pitfall on the ballot is $300 million worth of debt for sewage treatment.

Oklahoma is a rare state where most ballot initiatives offer a chance to save taxpayer dollars and improve the business climate. By seizing opportunities to streamline government, while avoiding new debt, Sooners can set a fiscal example for the rest of the nation.

The most significant fiscal issues on Oklahoma’s ballot this year, according to NTU’s guide:

State Question 758 would put a 3 percent annual cap on future property tax increases, a key step as families struggle with declining home values.

State Question 764 amends the Oklahoma Constitution to give the Water Resources Board $300 million in new debt for sewage treatment

State Question 765 abolishes the Department of Human Services, returning to the legislature the ability to act to help the elderly and poor. The measure streamlines government and makes it more accountable to voters.

State Question 766 would eliminate property taxes on intangibles like patents, licenses, software, and more. If this proposal is not passed Oklahoma businesses would face damaging tax hikes, hampering job growth and the state’s competitiveness.

Stay tuned for more on the major state ballot initiatives this election season, and visit our 2012 Ballot Guide page HERE to find your state’s complete slate of propositions, questions, amendments and more.