Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Oklahoma State Questions Part 2


Here is an update on the state questions that will be coming up for a vote this November.

SQ 758
Oklahoma Property Tax Amendment

Essentially, what this amendment to the State Constitution would do is prevent annual increases in property taxes.

I would, of course, support this amendment.



SQ 759
Limit Affirmative Action

As you can probably guess, this amendment to the State Constitution would end affirmative action programs. It would forbid special treatment in employment and education based on race or sex.

As you also could probably guess, I fully support this amendment. I think employment especially should be based on merit and skill rather than the color of your skin. The best person for the job should be the one hired.



SQ 762
Oklahoma Governor in the Parole Process Amendment

This measure would eliminate the Governor from the parole process.

From what I understand, this only removes the Governor from the parole process in regards to nonviolent offenses and gives more power to the Pardon and Parole Board and gives them the authority to grant parole to a person convicted of a nonviolent offense. I’m not really decided one way or the other but I will probably vote in favor of the measure simply because it decreases the power of the Governor in general.



SQ 764
Oklahoma Reserve Fund Amendment

This amendment would allow the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to raise money for reserve funding for water and sewage treatment by issuing bonds.

I think I would be ok with this because if the people really don’t want the bond, they don’t necessarily have to vote for it. But at the same time, I think water and sewage treatment are responsible functions of local government. So, provided that these funds are actually used for those reason and not to line somebody’s pocket, I would support the measure.



SQ 765
Eliminate the Oklahoma Public Welfare Commission

This constitutional amendment would eliminate the Department of Public Welfare and allow the Legislature to create a department to provide for public welfare.

I have to be honest, when reading the purpose of this amendment, it really makes no sense to me. They want to remove one bureaucracy to create another one? Unless, I read something different that makes more sense to me, I’m voting against SQ 765.



SQ 766
Oklahoma Intangible Tax Ban Amendment

This measure would abolish property taxes on what is referred to as intangible property. Things like intellectual property.

There are 2 ways to look at this. One is that it only makes sense to remove intellectual property from the list of things that are charged property tax. Why we even need a constitutional amendment to say that only physical property should be charged property tax is beyond me. On the other hand, property tax is what funds public education and the state could stand to lose several million dollars in education dollars by eliminating this tax. I’m on the fence about this one. I’m going to talk to some other people about this bill, most likely the folks that authored and sponsored the bill, and get back to you on this one.

2 comments:

  1. Here's how I will probably vote --
    SQ 758 -- Yes

    SQ 759 -- Uncertain. I'd like to know if this has any affect on education. While I agree that the best person should get the job, in terms of getting into colleges I think Affirmative Action can do some real good in helping smart kids that went to bad schools get a higher education.

    SQ 762 -- Uncertain. I honestly don't know what the point of this is.

    SQ 764 -- Yes

    SQ 765 -- No. This sounds like a really dumb idea and a HUGE waste of time and money.

    SQ 766 -- No.

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  2. Anonymous2:32 PM

    SQ 758 does not do what you think it does. It could potentially raise taxes for middle and lower classes. Property taxes are based on a property’s value, its assessment ratio, and the millage levy. If you restrict taxable value, local governments will have to raise taxes elsewhere to meet budget demands. Look at the links below.

    "If I constrain a taxable value for a home in an area that is going up 14 or 15 percent a year, I no longer have as much value in that rising neighborhood," so the millage rate - which affects the entire area - will have to be increased to raise the funds needed, Yazel said. "So we're shifting the fair share, if you will, to the people who live in the neighborhoods that do not go up."

    Tulsa County Assessor Ken Yazel, Republican
    from tulsaworld.com 2/28/11


    http://okpolicy.org/blog/taxes/should-oklahoma-expand-its-property-tax-exemptions/
    http://okpolicy.org/blog/taxes/property-tax-cuts-create-winners-and-losers/
    http://okpolicy.org/files/PropTax2012.pdf
    http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=16&articleid=20110228_16_A1_CUTLIN343840

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