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Today In The News
Lawmakers could wind up in special session on budget: State lawmakers could be headed into a special session with a yawning budget hole still looming. Lawmakers must adjourn by 5 p.m. May 25 and can’t pass revenue-raising measures in the last week of the session. So far, they have not passed enough measures to make a significant dent in the $878 million budget hole. Gov. Mary Fallin has said she will veto any budget that contains significant cuts to state agencies, many of which have already sustained significant reductions due to the downturn in the economy, among other factors. [Tulsa World] See OK Policy’s Online Budget Guide for more information about the budget process.
Deal, or no deal? Revenue raising measures in jeopardy: The week ends with no deal on a state budget and a shaky deal to raise revenue is on even more unstable ground. The state senate approved a measure to cap itemized income tax deductions at $17,000, but added exemptions for donations to nonprofit organizations. However that plan would fill just one hundred million dollars of the nearly billion dollar budget hole. [Fox25] On revenue options, the right choice is “all of the above.” [OK Policy]
Tell the Legislature what you think about gross production tax rates: The Oklahoma Oil and Gas Association recently ran a series of attack ads urging voters to call Rep. Leslie Osborn and others to voice opposition to higher taxes on the petroleum industry. Osborn, R-Mustang, is chairwoman of the powerful House Appropriations and Budget Committee and has advocated for higher gross production taxes in a period when the state faces horrific cuts in state services because of an inadequate tax base. [Editorial Board/Tulsa World] We must end oil and gas tax breaks to save Oklahoma communities [OK Policy]
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