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Agricultural News

School Storm Shelters can be Built Without Property Tax Increases Says OFB's John Collison

Wed, 16 Apr 2014 16:42:51 CDT

School Storm Shelters can be Built Without Property Tax Increases Says OFB's John Collison
Oklahoma lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow Oklahoma school districts to raise the constitutional cap on bond indebtedness to fund the construction of storm shelters.

Oklahoma Farm Burea Vice President of Public Policy and Media Affairs John Collison says the idea of building storm shelters to protect school children is just fine; however the mechanism to pay for them is not.

He says the Oklahoma Farm Bureau opposes HJR 1092 which would allow school districts to propose property tax increases with no upper cap. He says that school districts which are currently below their cap can already propose bond increases to fund shelter construction and there are other funding mechanisms available to districts which are at their cap which don’t entail increasing property taxes.

“There’s still a lot of money in this state that if a school needs a storm shelter we really can’t wait a year to get these shelters in. We have rainy day funds. There’s the unclaimed property fund. The United Way still has $20 million. There’s still money in the storm shelter fund. Let’s exhaust that money first before we go out there and ask the voters to pass a property tax constitutional cap increase on to our members.”

The Oklahoma Farming and Ranching Foundation in conjunction with Oklahoma Farm Bureau donated $100,000 last fall to help build shelters in Oklahoma schools.

Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear more of John Collison's comments.


Ron Hays talks with John Collison about alternate funding plans for school storm shelters.
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