The Duncan Banner

Opinion

December 8, 2013

Fiscal impact of state question 766 for counties, schools, and career technology centers

DUNCAN — On November 12, 2012, S.Q. 766 was on a ballot and went to the vote of the people to eliminate tax assessments on intangible personal property. What you might not know is that prior to the vote of S.Q. 766, legislation was already in place to prevent any NEW tax assessments on intangible personal property. At the time S.Q. 766 was being considered, the Oklahoma Tax Commission released a fiscal impact statement which estimated that the governmental entities supported by ad valorem (property tax) revenues would lose $50 million if S.Q. 766 passed. Some examples of intangible property taxes are:

Patents, inventions, formulas, designs, and trade secrets

Licenses, franchise, and contracts

Land leases, mineral interests, and insurance policies

Custom computer software, and trademarks, trade names, and brand names

S.Q. 766 passed because voters decided that it would be best to do away with intangible personal property tax altogether. We now have current information provided by the Oklahoma Tax Commission on the actual financial impact of this vote.

According to the Oklahoma Tax Commission, 90 of the approximately 250 public service companies that now qualify for the tax exemption created by S.Q. 766 took advantage of the tax break this year; at a cost of $60 million to counties, school districts, and career technology centers.

School districts receive 65% of all centrally assessed property taxes. What this means for schools in Oklahoma is that of the $60 million lost, districts will annually lose $30,777,600 of existing revenue. Of the $60 million lost, local taxpayers will annually pay an additional $9,002,400 to the sinking fund of local school districts. This statewide revenue reduction does not impact the amount of money available to the legislature for state appropriations because ad valorem revenue is used to directly support the work of counties, school districts and career technology center.

S.Q. 766 deprived counties, schools, and career technology centers of $60 million this year. One large corporation alone received a $23 million tax break because of S.Q. 766. Given that level of tax savings, the logical expectation is that more and more eligible corporations will take advantage of this new state created tax break. Should more corporations, especially large ones, exercise this particular tax break, it will lead to fewer county generated taxpayer dollars dedicated to support county government, school districts, and career technology centers. Information provided by the Oklahoma Tax Commission suggests that counties, school districts, and career technology centers could be financially impacted in excess of $100 million annually over the next few years.

Anytime, revenue sources for counties, school districts, and career technology centers are diminished, it is cause for concern. The question that school leaders always ask is, “If we do away with a funding source, what will replace it?” I am still waiting on the answer.

Sherry Labyer,

Duncan Superintendent

580-255-0686,

sherry.labyer@duncanps.org

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Governor, state Legislature have misplaced priorities

    If the Oklahoma State Legislators and our Governor spent less time interfering in women’s rights to manage their bodies, creating ways to lay more taxes and fees on the middle class in order to generate more tax breaks which benefit only the wealthy while also conceiving methods with which to fill Oklahoma’s for-profit prisons, they would be doing all of us a favor. Instead, why not work to enhance funding for our schools and wage increases for all school employees? While reforming the state’s educational budget, why don’t they approve wage increases for our Oklahoma State Troopers and enlarge their Academy to insure qualified individuals are ready to fill the upcoming vacancies as many of the older force retire?

    April 9, 2014

  • Self government key to keeping politicians in check

    Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that federal campaign laws that limit the total amount of money donors can give to political parties, committees and candidates for federal office (U.S. House, Senate, and President) was unconstitutional. The ruling will not increase the current $2,600 limit on how much a donor can give to a federal candidate in each primary and general election or the $32,400 limit that can go to a national party committee. Those limits are still in place.  The ruling will instead remove the limit on how many candidates/committees to which a donor can contribute.

    April 9, 2014

  • Legislative goals crucial to priorities in education

    I am a member of several professional organizations where I attend regular meetings, network with colleagues, and stay abreast and informed on education best practices.  The Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration, better known as CCOSA, is a nonprofit organization that establishes close and continuous communication and cooperation between educators, taxpayers, and legislators to improve the effectiveness of professional school administrators and to communicate the needs of schools. Attendance this time of year is especially critical because legislators are in session.

    March 28, 2014

  • An impressive ranking that could be better

    That Duncan was named one of the best 15 communities in Oklahoma by Movoto, a national Real Estate company, is news worth celebrating.
    Of 43 places with population of 10,000 or more, as determined by the U.S. Census data, Duncan finished 15th. Norman was first, Edmond second, Yukon and Moore tied for third and Bethany was fifth.

    March 9, 2014

  • Kids shouldn’t have to pay for having punster parents

    Friends and neighbors, I’ve been cloistered in my Thought Chamber for the past few days, contemplating many high-brow philosophies and haughty hypothesis that we who think on a different level use to exercise our finely-tuned minds and remain intellectually superior to the Great Unwashed.
    As you see, the time alone has been intellectually beneficial. I just composed an opening sentence (what we in the journalism dodge call a “lead”) that’s 46 words long.

    March 9, 2014

  • The blissful serenity of No-TV Land

    Life without TV is possible. Maybe you should try it. I did. It’s a do-able thing, I tell you. I’m still here, no worse the wear, no oozing wounds, no serious loss of brainwave activity except for the slow, inexorable downhill decline that already started when TV viewing was a daily occurrence.

    Granted, two months without the tube is quite likely not a scientifically acceptable sample from which is to hold forth. But it’s the best I can do, so deal with it.

    March 9, 2014

  • Cooper’s message is to remain active

    Dr. Kenneth Cooper, the Dallas physician who coined the phrase “aerobics” more than four decades ago, who has become a world leader in physical fitness and who has saved, literally, thousands of lives by promoting the value of an active lifestyle, shared his philosophy of life here last week.

    March 9, 2014

  • Time to take the “B” out of the “Three R’s”

    Our young folks are hitting the stretch drive toward the end of another school year, during which they’ve been taught “Three R’s”, which are not really “r’s” at all.
    In case you missed it, reading is the only one of the “Three R’s” that actually begins with the letter “r.” Writing starts with a “w” and arithmetic begins with the letter “a.” There are two reasons we drop the “w” from “writing” and the “a” from “arithmetic”: 1. For poetic flow in the age-old saying; and, 2. many people have a secret yen to talk like the Beverly Hillbillies.

    February 23, 2014

  • Thank you for lettin’ me be myself again

    Friends and neighbors, hope I don’t sound like the biggest egomaniac since Donald Trump, but you know, I am the most interesting person I’ve ever known.
    Forgive me if — on first blush — that sounds like the most totally self-aggrandizing statement you’ve ever heard. And if you’ve headed to the restroom to express an editorial opinion about the statement above, I’ll stop for a couple minutes.

    February 15, 2014

  • Buzz misfired in Vanity Fair body slam of Duncan

    As the new kid in town, I’m reluctant to leap atop the ramparts to defend the honor of Duncan, Okla., my new adopted hometown.
    But to heck with that. When an out-of-towner comes into your house and soils your rug, it’s on.
    I speak, of course, about the article in Vanity Fair magazine about Duncan and the  killing last year of Chris Lane, the Australian who was gunned down in August.

    January 24, 2014