OKGrassroots Network

With just over a week until the end of the regular legislative session, some lawmakers have proposed massive tax increases, including a plan to cap personal itemized deductions that would dramatically increase personal income taxes on many Oklahoma families and small businesses.

OCPA released today a budget plan to fill Oklahoma’s $878 million budget gap and give teachers a pay raise—while respecting and protecting Oklahoma families and their own budgets.

The balanced budget plan proposed by OCPA includes more than $1.3 billion in savings—including items from OCPA’s “Freedom Agenda” published in January and “First Steps” list released in February—and $337 million in tax increases, including an increase in the tax on gasoline and diesel, a 67-cent per pack cigarette tax increase, and a wind production tax. Together, the lower spending and increased taxes add up to nearly $1.7 billion.

  A hastily called Joint Committee on Appropriations and budget just recessed and members are filing into the House chamber to push the deal through.   The deal includes huge new spending  on common education.  It hikes fuel taxes, sales taxes, oil production taxes, and several other regressive measures.  The economy will no doubt be greatly burdened with carrying the load of an ever-growing state government.  Echols started o […]

Read the full article at Oklahoma’s Political News service, www.SoonerPolitics.org .

Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wrote a memo laying the groundwork for the firing of FBI Director Comey. He says Comey was unaccountable. Here’s a version of Rosenstein’s memo published in The Atlantic. But Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe writes in the The Washington Post that Trump obstructed justice when he fired Comey. He thinks Trump should be impeached. Meanwhile, Senat minority

The post Unaccountable Washington Politics appeared first on Bokbluster.com.

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Although it passed by a vote of 63 to 34, the $1.50-per-pack cigarette tax hike failed to receive the Constitutionally required 2/3rds vote in the State House this afternoon. 14 Democrats and 20 Republicans voted against the tax hike.

The vote was held open for about an hour, but leadership could not get enough votes for passage. Apparently, Governor Mary Fallin even went to the floor to try and persuade members to vote for the tax increase. She did the same thing last year, begging House Democrats (of all people) to come on board. Due to a procedural move, the measure can be voted on again.

Governor Mary Fallin responded to the vote with this statement:

“I’m disappointed in those legislators who put political games and Washington-like gridlock ahead of the lives of Oklahomans and the core services our citizens expect.

“It’s personal to those of us who have lost loved ones to smoking-related illnesses. It’s personal to teenagers in Oklahoma who would have been saved from lives of tobacco addiction if the bill had passed. It’s personal for citizens who would have received health care from the new revenue.

“I encourage all citizens to contact legislators and urge a yes vote on a smart way to protect the health of our citizens and the health of our state services.”

If Fallin, who started off the year by pushing for nearly 2.6 billion dollars in tax increases, is serious about ending smoking-related illnesses, or stopping tobacco addiction, perhaps she’ll propose banning tobacco products next? I don’t expect her to, because after all, tobacco taxes are a big cash cow. She needs people to still smoke so that their taxes can pay for things.

Senate President Pro Tem Mike Schulz and the Senate Republican Caucus unveiled their budget plan Monday afternoon at the state Capitol.

Oklahoma Senate Republicans approve responsible state budget plan

The Oklahoma Senate on Monday approved a budget plan that responsibly addresses the FY ‘18 shortfall, holds education agencies, the Department of Corrections, and the Department of Human Services harmless, and minimizes cuts to other state agencies.

“The Senate has negotiated patiently all-session long, but it’s time for the budget gimmicks to end,” said President Pro Tem Mike Schulz, R-Altus. “We were elected to lead and guide this state in a responsible manner, and that is precisely what the Senate budget does. Like we’ve said all along, the solution to this year’s budget will come via a combination of cuts to agencies, new revenues, and structural budget reforms and that’s what is included in the Senate budget. The budget reforms approved by the Senate also will put our state on more solid financial footing in the future and lets us end our work on time and avoid a costly special session.”

  The Oklahoma House of Representatives just passed a 1% tax on the retailers who  are required to collect and transfer sales taxes. It was a key feature of the collecting burden that our state placed on each retailer. In return for collecting and holding this money, the retailer was allowed a 1% discount for all the manpower and capital risk involved in being that agent for the state.  As a result, all retailers are now going to be held responsib […]

Read the full article at Oklahoma’s Political News service, www.SoonerPolitics.org .

  ​​“Efforts to cap itemized deductions in order to increase personal income taxes by more than $100 million on hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans directly oppose the promises by conservatives to do the tough work of going line by line through every expenditure of government and to reform government so that it lives within the current tax burden in Oklahoma, especially during a tough economy. These efforts should stop immediately.”​ &nb […]

Read the full article at Oklahoma’s Political News service, www.SoonerPolitics.org .