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Two Tax Cutting Measures on the Ballot
State questions 758 and 766 give Oklahoma voters the chance to cut taxes in the state, although one expert warns there could be some unintended consequences.
Voting yes 766, means ending taxes on intangible personal property. Currently, the state only taxes certain items.
"There's a difference in the value between some name brands. Like if you have a mom and pop grocery store, it may not be as valuable, because the income may not be as great as a national chain, like a Whole Foods. Whole Foods name makes the property more valuable," said Larry Stein, the chief deputy to Oklahoma County Assessor Leonard Sullivan.
The group "Vote Yes to 766" warns that other items, besides brands can be taxed under current law, such as business logos, retirement benefits and professional licenses. The group is urging a yes vote, so that the possibility of those ever being taxed ends.
"When we're talking about pensions, retirement benefits, professional licenses, we're talking about livelihoods, we're talking about taxing careers, we're talking about taxing ideas," Cordon DeKock, the group's campaign manager said.
Opponents of the across the board exemptions, say it could hurt some groups.
"The impact on Oklahoma schools and cities and towns, [is] approximately $60 to 80 million, depending on who you ask," Stein said. But, that's out of the $12 to 18 billion in taxes coming into Oklahoma.
For those groups impacted, they could be forced to raise taxes to make up for the loss, Stein said.
"Because of the reduction in revenue, there could be an increase of the property taxes at the local level depending on how much of those funds are going to support those ad valorem obligations," he said. The increase is not a guarantee.
State question 758 deals with real property taxes. A yes vote would change the cap on increases to the that tax from five percent to three percent.
"The 3% cap would apply to homestead exempted property. The cap would also apply to agricultural land," the ballot reads.
Passing this amendment may also affect the amount of money that goes to school districts, Stein said. But because property values would likely go up, the change would likely cancel out, he said. The change should also be negligible to government.
"We're talking about a limitation from five percent to three percent. We're increasing it less than three percent now, so there won't be any real noticeable amount of funding decrease, because we're just reducing the growth," Stein said.
He said homeowners who have large homes that are appreciating in value would benefit the most from this amendment.
Stick with Fox 25 through election day, November 6, as we cover each of the six state questions on ballot.
Posted: Saturday, October 13 2012, 02:32 PM CDT
IN OKLAHOMA NEWS
Graduations slated for tornado-ravaged Okla. town
May 25, 2013 09:11 GMT
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Graduation ceremonies are set in an Oklahoma community hit hard by a tornado.
Commencement exercises are set for Saturday for the three high schools in Moore. The Oklahoma City suburb was hit by a strong tornado Monday; 24 people died.
The ceremonies for graduates of Westmoore, Southmoore and Moore high schools will each be held at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City.
The Moore School District canceled its school year after the tornado hit the Plaza Towers and Briarwood elementary schools, but wants graduation ceremonies to go on.
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