House Democrats Join Farm Bureau in Opposing School Consolidation, Property Tax IncreasesTue, 02 Feb 2016 21:13:19 CST
Democrats in the Oklahoma House of Representatives announced Tuesday that they “stand with the Oklahoma Farm Bureau” on the issues of property taxes and rural school consolidation, and called on their Republican colleagues to join them.
Farm Bureau President Tom Buchanan issued a statement in which he took exception to Governor Fallin’s proposals to consolidate rural dependent schools and to allow building funds, which are derived from ad valorem taxes, to defray operational expenses. You can read Buchanan's statement and hear his comments with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays by clicking here.
Using property taxes to pay operational expenses “would shift the tax burden for educational support from a state tax base to local property owners, such as Oklahoma farmers and ranchers,” said House Minority Leader Scott Inman. And consolidating rural schools with larger independent schools “would spell the death of many small Oklahoma communities,” the Del City Democrat said.
“We urge House Republicans to publicly join us in this effort,” Inman said. “This isn’t a partisan political issue. This affects all taxpayers and property owners in Oklahoma.”
“The governor’s proposals are the result of ill-advised tax cuts and tax exemptions that have driven state revenues to dangerously low levels and are pushing more of the tax burden down to farmers and ranchers,” said Rep. Steve Kouplen, D-Beggs; Rep. Wade Rousselot, D-Okay; and Rep. Jerry Shoemake, D-Morris.
“Governor Fallin has put our rural Oklahoma way of life in the crosshairs,” said Rep. David Perryman, D-Chickasha. “House Democrats intend to stand up and defend our rural communities, and House Republicans should join us in this effort.”
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