Independent Christian Voice

Monday

Bad timing for SQ723 — fortunately

As Oklahomans begin to recover (even if only slightly) from record-high gas prices, a group continues its full-court press to increase our fuel taxes. On Tuesday, Oklahoma voters — or a small fraction thereof — will decide State Question 723, which proposes a 5-cent-per-gallon tax increase on gasoline (and 8-cent-per-gallon increase on diesel). According to NewsOK.com, "the taxes would produce an estimated $150 million more a year for the highway system. The proposal would place all revenues to the highway program in a lockbox that could not be tapped by the Legislature for other uses." I am opposed to the tax for a couple of reasons. First, it's another regressive tax that will put the pinch on the lower-income working families more than any other. Second, it absolves the Legislature of its responsibility to wisely allocate our money. Already, 17 cents of every gallon goes to the state. Why can't they have the fiscal wisdom and discipline to use the revenue from transportation-related taxes to adequately fun transportation-related needs? I have no reason to dispute the essence of the argument by advocates for the tax. However, it sets a dangerous precedent to absolve the legislature of its responsibilities by just adding another tax to fund something that should already be funded by our current taxes. Forgive me for not trusting what politicians say. When the toll road system was implemented several decades ago, the promise then was that the toll (or tax) would be used to pay for the construction of the toll road and then when it was paid off the toll would be removed. That hasn't happened. It became too much of a cash cow. So, if I don't trust that this new tax will be put in a lockbox, you can understand. So, then, if that's the case, then it's just another tax increase. Vote no on SQ723.

2 Comments:

  • At 9/12/2005 09:33:00 AM, Blogger TECH said…

    Well said.

     
  • At 9/12/2005 11:07:00 AM, Blogger Bruce said…

    its because we use the tax system as a rewards program for political allies and their pet projects, then we look at new taxes to fund things that should have already been funded.

    Oklahoma likes to portray itself as a low tax state by focusing on the high profile high income or business taxes but we still get nibbled to death by small taxes and fees as the state government looks for new ways to fund their needs.

     

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