Chicken-Fried News: Taxing situation 

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Coming to a television near you: anti-tax ads that encourage Oklahomans to call their legislators and ask them to oppose higher taxes. Sure, we’ve all seen these kinds of ads before. Read our Chicken-Fried News lips — these ads intend to put a kink in things for Step Up Oklahoma, a coalition of business, civic and community leaders advocating various proposals to resolve the state’s budget woes. Those proposals include raising the state’s cigarette tax, gross production tax and motor vehicles taxes. Also, the group is pushing a new fee on wind power generation. That’s a whole ’nother story. According to NewsOK, No New Oklahoma Taxes was formed five days after Step Up Oklahoma unveiled their proposals, which have found favor with some lawmakers including Gov. Mary Fallin. The group purchased the ads, a value of around $50,000, to run in Oklahoma City and Tulsa Feb. 5 through Sunday, NewsOK reported. The ad buy includes ESPN and Fox News, as well as digital ads from No New Oklahoma Taxes on NewsOK.com. On Feb. 1, multiple news organizations reported that House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, believed there were enough Republican votes to pass Step Up’s plan in the House. Further, the plan could be considered early in the legislative session, which began on Feb. 5. Is this a mere coincidence? We think not. No New Oklahoma Taxes’ president John Collison, former vice president of strategic operations and development at Oklahoma Farm Bureau, told NewsOK in an email, “We are a grassroots group with thousands of supporters on social media and who have contacted their legislators. There is at least $30 million in mismanaged monies at our Health Department.” Collins continued, “We owe the people of this state answers to how we are spending our current budget allocations as opposed to raising taxes almost a billion dollars. We are committed to a state government that runs efficiently and effectively.” At CFN, we support state government and all government running efficiently and effectively. We too are concerned over the financial scandal at the Oklahoma State Department of Health. We are also concerned about the persistent budget shortfalls that have led to drastic cuts to education and other vital state services. Are we alone? We don’t think so.

Print headline: Taxing situation

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