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Agricultural News


Oklahoma Cattlemen Endorse StepUpOk Tax Increase and Government Reform Proposal

Fri, 26 Jan 2018 06:30:32 CST

Oklahoma Cattlemen Endorse StepUpOk Tax Increase and Government Reform Proposal The Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association went on record Thursday in support of the StepUpOk plan to raise taxes and reform state government. After much discussion, the organization became the first farm or ranch group in the state to offer an endorsement of the plan that would raise oil and gas gross production taxes, raise motor fuel taxes, place a state level tax on wind generation, up the cigarette tax and simplify the individual income tax brackets. In addition, the supporters of StepUpOK want to put at least two ballot initiatives in front of the people- one to drop the super majority needed to pass tax increases in the state legislature from 75% to 60% and to extend the term limits for state lawmakers from 12 to 16 years.


Former OCA President Bob Drake of Davis, spoke strongly in favor of engaging in this conversation saying- "Agriculture needs to be at the table- we need to understand that we are a part of this state- the fact is that we are going to be voting taxes on ourselves but for what we receive against what we would pay- there is no comparision to the benefits that would result." Drake acknowledges that there are parts of the plan that are troubling- but he adds that a vote to endorse the plan now gives cattle producers a chance to be a part of the discussion going forward.


Drake is the only ag producer currently listed as a "supporter" on the website for StepUpOk.


Executive Vice President of the OCA, Michael Kelsey, told members that he had started counting how many separate pieces of legislation would be required to put this plan into place- "I stopped counting after 15 or so" adding that it will be a very complicated process to put StepUpOk into place- but that enacting at least some of it could be a positive for the citizens of our state.


According to the StepUpOk website, the coalition is a "nonpartisan group of business, civic, and community leaders together to work with lawmakers to...stabilize state revenue, reform government to increase efficiency and cut abuse, and raise teacher pay by $5,000 a year."


The website does offer details about the tax increases proposed as well as the reforms being called for by the group.


After the vote to endorse StepUpOk, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays talked with Bob Drake about his desire to see OCA come to the table on this issue- click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear his comments.



Ron Hays talks with Cattle Leader Bob Drake about the StepUpOk Reform Plan for Oklahoma

right-click to download mp3    

   

Ron Hays talks with Cattle Leader Bob Drake about the StepUpOk Reform Plan for Oklahoma
right-click to download mp3

 

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