Oklahomans approve six ballot measures

All six state questions were approved Tuesday by Oklahoma voters.
by Randy Ellis Published: November 6, 2012

“I would have enjoyed continuing to work with this committed group of professionals, but the voters have spoken. In most states and as it was in Tennessee where I came from, the heads of state agencies report to the governor. I am excited about the future of OKDHS and look forward to working with Governor Fallin and the Legislature in continuing the good work and improvements this commission has begun.”

Fred Morgan, president of the State Chamber of Oklahoma, which backed proposals to eliminate the intangibles tax and allow the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to issue bonds, said passage of both state questions should help businesses and individuals in the state.

“We're very pleased,” he said. “Both of these are very important to the business community, but also to the people in general.”

Morgan said eliminating intangible taxes was a matter of “tax fairness” and said allowing the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to issue bonds will help cities keep water utility rates low as they make needed infrastructure improvements.

State Rep. David Dank, House author of the state question to reduce the cap on annual property tax increases from 5 to 3 percent, said he was pleased with the decision of voters.

“I am grateful to the voters of Oklahoma for their strong approval of this measure at the polls,” said Dank, R-Oklahoma City. “They understood clearly that this was sensible tax restraint, not a tax cut that would harm schools, counties or libraries. A recent report by the Tax Foundation listed Oklahoma as the eighth-fastest-growing state for property taxes, and the passage of 758 will slow that growth while maintaining adequate revenues.“

Dank said the vote is especially important to seniors and others on fixed or limited incomes.

Sen. Rob Johnson, senate author of the affirmative action state question, said Oklahoma is now the seventh state to refuse to allow race or gender to be the basis of hiring decisions and he thinks it sets an example for other states.

“I think it promotes growth in our state and puts everyone on an equal playing field,” he said.

by Randy Ellis
Capitol Bureau Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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