State Questions on the 2012 Ballot
SQ 758 Rep. Dank/Sen. Reynolds
A yes vote would reduce the allowable cap on annual property tax increases from 5% to 3% for homesteads and agricultural land. Oklahoma’s property taxes are the 8th fastest growing in the nation. The property tax is the only automatic tax increase we have in Oklahoma. This is not a cut, this is a fiscal restraint. This measure would not affect the property tax freeze for people who are at least 65 years of age and meet household income guidelines.
A yes vote on this question would end any affirmative action in the state of Oklahoma that utilizes taxpayer dollars. Current uses of taxpayer dollars that allow preference due to race or gender include some college scholarships and municipal contracting. No special treatment or discrimination would be allowed in public employment, education, or public contracting. Any private entities would still be able to utilize affirmative action with their private dollars. Similar legislation has been passed in the states of Washington, Michigan, Nebraska, Arizona, and California. This is about fairness and equal treatment for all Oklahomans regardless of race, religion, color, sex, or national origin.
SQ 762 Rep. Steele/Sen. Brecheen
A yes vote on this measure would give the state pardon and parole board the power to review and decide parole requests for nonviolent offenders. For violent offenses, the parole board would continue to make recommendations to the Governor, who would make the final decision. Oklahoma is the only state that requires Gubernatorial approval for all paroles. This should make our pardon and parole process more efficient and according to the 2007 MGT audit save the state $40 million over the next decade.
SQ 764 Rep. Richardson/Sen. Crain
A yes vote on this measure would sustain and expand the Oklahoma Water Resources Board water and wastewater infrastructure financing program. Projections are that over the next 50 years water infrastructure replacement across the state will grow exponentially. The OWRB currently administers bond issues for municipalities and water districts to replace and repair that infrastructure. In the decades that this has been the practice of the OWRB there has never been a bond not repaid. This is due to strict criteria and monitoring of the repayment abilities. This state question would allow more bonding to be permitted under the same guidelines as before, to address the critical water needs across our state. This measure allows the OWRB to issue up to $300 million in general obligation bonds, that will be repaid, to cover the reserve fund for the water and sewage treatment program.
SQ 765 Rep. Steele/Sen. Treat
A yes vote on this State Question would abolish the Commission for Human Services, a constitutionally mandated, 9 member group of unelected volunteers. It is a 1930’s governance model that can be traced to the agency’s major problems with an unaccountable commission and an insulated director. With the passage of this measure The DHS director will be appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. This would place the agency’s leadership closer to the people because the Governor is accountable to all the people of the state. DHS would basically now be answering directly to the public, not an unelected, unaccountable commission.
SQ 766 Rep. Dank/Sen. Mazzei
A yes vote on this State Question would exempt all intangible personal property from property taxes in our state. An intangible personal property item is something such as a trademark, logo, intellectual property, client list etc. If passed this would take effect on January 13, 2013. Approval of this state question will protect Oklahoma from a competitive advantage with surrounding states that do not have this unquantifiable, discriminatory tax. This would also repeal the very unpopular Business Activity Tax that was passed in 2010.