Wright Files Legislation to Lower Tax Vote Threshold

Oklahomans could get a chance to lower the threshold for lawmakers to raise taxes, if Rep. Harold Wright’s legislation passes. House Joint Resolution 1032 would send to a vote of the people a constitutional change to State Question 640’s 75 percent vote requirement.

Currently, a tax increase requires three-fourths vote to pass in the Legislature. Wright’s proposal would ask voters to lower that requirement to a three-fifths vote.

“This has been the most difficult legislative year since I was elected,” Wright said. “Partly because of two special extraordinary sessions but also because it has been impossible to pass necessary revenue measures to provide for adequate core services in Oklahoma: roads and bridges, public safety, education, public health and corrections,

“This is why I am proposing legislation that would put to a vote a change in the revenue-raising requirement in the constitution that would lower the requirement to 60 percent, the same as a school bond issue. Many agree that this would be a fair compromise and still make it difficult to raise revenue. There will be opposition to this measure, but I hope you will support the change in order to make your state government more effective.”

HJR 1032 is expected to be heard in the regular session starting in February.

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  1. Trent, 09 January, 2018

    The Oklahoma Constitution says revenue increases require simple majorities in both chambers of the legislature and then a simple majority of voters at a general election.

    Then it offers an exception if the revenue increase gets 3/4 super majorities in both chambers of the legislature. To focus only on this exception and not mention the general rule is misleading and a bad way to start a debate about constitutional changes.

  2. Georgia, 09 January, 2018

    In regard to Rep. Harold Wrights proposed bill to put the damper on SQ 640 (HJR 1032). SQ 640 requires that legislation to increase taxes passes by 75% OR the people get to vote on it. Rep. Wright wants the people to VOTE to lower threshold to 60%. That would assure that government could continue to GROW at rates the taxpayers cannot sustain.
    SQ 640 is – and has been – a safe guard against such actions. His comparison to the 60% required on school bond issues is apples and oranges. 60% required on school bonds is to compensate for those voting to raise property taxes who DO NOT OWN property!

    I was a charter member of STOP (Stop Taxing Our People) and helped circulate the state wide petition that put SQ 640 on ballot! Overwhelmingly supported and passed by the people!

    I personally will campaign against any such bill as Rep. Wright is proposing and against any Legislator who supports such a bill. Numerous legislation has reached the 75% marker. It’s not impossible. If it can’t, it must not be a very good bill.
    Meanwhile….read below….

    Just recently learned from bona fide sources….Lawton has lost 5% of its population over the past 3 years. And, the median income in our area has gone down! Many, many buildings and houses sit EMPTY! Smaller communities around us are drying up. And Legislators want to RAISE taxes!!!


    Brent Copeland former manager of the Goodyear tire plant in Lawton, spoke recently about ‘problems’ facing Oklahoma and Oklahomans. Copeland pointed out that Oklahoma has the “sixth highest combined state and average local sales tax in the US.” He went on to say….”in SW Oklahoma, average annual pay is $8,001 LESS than the state average and $17,716 LESS than the National average.”
    Copeland pointed out numerous other statistics that do NOT bode well for Oklahomas future…if they continue.
    Article Lawton Constitution October 29.

    The Oklahoma Legislature needs to learn to live within what taxpayers can afford to provide! A constant, year after year, increase in taxes IS NOT the answer for our State and for our citizens to grow and survive.

  3. Tom, 09 January, 2018

    Just what we need, authorization for an already out of control legislature, to tax and spend more with less authority!

  4. castor, 09 January, 2018

    Where do I go to man a barricade against this?


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