Independent Christian Voice


Fuel tax plan runs out of gas

In what could be the most lopsided election defeat of a state question in history, Oklahoma voters killed a proposal Tuesday night to raise their fuel taxes to help improve the state’s bridges and highways. With more than half the precincts reporting, more than 87 percent of voters were rejecting the proposal to raise the 14-cent per gallon diesel tax and 17-cent per gallon gasoline tax to 22 cents each. Michael Clingman, secretary of the state Election Board, said this election could surpass the most lopsided defeat of a state question in state history. … “The numbers clearly mean the voters have rejected a gas tax increase as a method of funding improvement of roads and bridges,” said Neal McCaleb, chairman of Oklahomans for Safe Bridges and Roads, which promoted the proposal. The overwhelming defeat of State Question 723 does not mean Oklahomans are against improving highways and bridges, he said. This rejection puts the issue squarely in the hands of the Legislature, said McCaleb, a former Republican state legislator and past state secretary of transportation. > more
UPDATE: Final totals from the Oklahoma State Election Board shows State Question 723 was defeated 87.12% (349,850) to 12.79% (51,306). Way to go, Oklahomans! I am glad that the proponents of the tax plan raised the issue of deteriorating roads and bridges. I didn't disagree with their issue of concern, just their solution. In fact, I agree wholeheartedly that it is a serious problem. A new tax wasn't the answer. Holding our elected leaders accountable to their responsibilities to their constituents is. The legislature and the governor need to give this issue the attention it desperately needs. For once, let politics be put aside to come up with real solutions. It's a matter of priorities. There's money to work with; it just means making the tough choices. At the end of the last session, there appeared to be a budget surplus and politicians were eager to suggest a refund to taxpayers. That may be a politically savvy thing to do, but is it the wisest thing to do? That surplus could be specifically allocated to fund specific projects to repair the most serious of deteriorating bridges and roads. Additionally, legislators have proposed using the Rainy Day Fund to offset the revenue loss from temporary gas tax relief. Why couldn't a portion of that fund be used to address this serious problem? Government's first answer to meeting a need is to initiate a new tax. The real answer is to live with your current income like the average person has to and prioritize wisely to meet those urgent needs. Governor, senators and representatives: DO YOUR JOB!


  • At 9/14/2005 04:33:00 PM, Blogger aka_monty said…

    I was watching Channel 9 news this morning...and thought "Gee, isn't it funny that since the gas tax was defeated, they've suddenly discovered that we might have some surplus funds that could be diverted to fix the roads & bridges?"


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