Conservative Index Add
pagetitle

Monday, November 20th, 2017Last Update: Sunday, November 5th, 2017 11:44:31 PM

No to Gas Tax Increase

By: Rep. Jason Murphey

You may have recently seen news stories describing the impending introduction of a gas tax increase. Those who suggest Oklahoma should increase the gas tax are using the following reasoning: “Oklahoma has the one of the lowest state-level gas taxes in the country and this justifies an increase.”

I don’t think this flawed logic will have its desired effect. Several years ago, the proponents of an increase took their tax hike effort to a vote of the people and it was overwhelmingly rejected.

I think this is because Oklahoma voters know the truth. While Oklahoma’s gas tax may be less than other states, Oklahoma’s citizens are forced to pay for roads and bridges through a punitive and overlapping system of taxes and user fees.

Oklahomans pay their taxes for roads and bridges through the gas tax and confiscatory motor vehicle registration fees and taxes, the latter of which are frequently raided for non-transportation purposes.

They pay user fees each time they use part of the 606-mile state turnpike system. The massive turnpike system ranks Oklahoma second in the nation in terms of turnpike miles. In fact, 14% of all Oklahoma state highway miles are classified as toll roads.

Many Oklahoma despise this form of double-assessment. They know it’s wrong – especially when Oklahoma’s leaders have long raided the motor vehicle funds for non-transportation related purposes.

Thus, the flawed logic of the premise that we should raise taxes because Oklahoma’s gas tax isn’t as high as some of the other states.

Secondly, it’s important to recognize that there’s nothing wrong with having a lower tax rate than other states. In fact, our state government should aspire to meet the core purposes of government by delivering a high quality product at a lower cost.

Why shouldn’t we be the best? Those who attempt to increase taxes are waving the white flag and telling the voters, “We cannot be exceptional. We have to tax and spend just as much, if not more, than other governments.”

As a taxpayer, I want my elected leaders to aspire for exceptionalism. I want them to use our tax dollars more effectively and wisely than governments in other parts of the country. I want them to be more innovative than the others. Is exceptionalism too much to ask from Oklahoma’s leaders?

Finally, those who ask for the increase may point to the recent downturn in the energy sector and the ensuing reduction in funds available for the Legislature to appropriate. They want to give the Legislature more money to work with during upcoming years.

This logic suggests the likely intent of state leaders to channel the tax increase away from roads and bridges and to the general government fund.

Oklahomans have long detested the practice by which their state government raids transportation taxes for other purposes. They are not likely to appreciate even more of this.

I do not believe the tax increase will move forward, but I will certainly vote “No” if it should make it to the House floor for a vote.

State Representative Jason Murphey (R-Guthrie) represents House District 31. He may be reached via e-mail at: Jason.Murphey@hd31.org

About Rep. Jason Murphey

State Representative Jason Murphey (R-Guthrie) represents House District 31. He is Chairman of the Government Modernization Committee. He may be reached via e-mail at: Jason.Murphey@hd31.org

Other Articles By Rep. Jason Murphey

The Push Poll that Convinced Legislators to Raise your Taxes

It was the moment that left no doubt in my mind: the fix was in. Not only would this not be a year...

The New Ideology of the Legislature

I will detail here the chain of events that transformed what I initially believed could be the best...

Big Government Groundhog Day

State officials are continuing to consider an array of tax and fee increases. I instinctively know...

No to Gas Tax Increase

You may have recently seen news stories describing the impending introduction of a gas tax increase....

Giving Away Absolute Power For One Year

Many taxpayers believe the Legislature operates as described in American Government class. They...

Vote Walking

Each year, members of the Legislature cast votes impacting almost every aspect of life: from public...

Did the State Adopt Common Core Again?

I have received numerous emails regarding the states recent action to adopt new English and math...

Other Constitution Columnists

Richard Engle

Tax Increases are Never Conservative
In the effort to appear to govern, many Oklahoma Republican politicians continue to call for tax...

Brandon Dutcher

Oklahoma Voters Want Tax Dollars to Follow the Child
Nearly two in three Oklahoma voters support using tax dollars to choose the public or private school...

Andrew K. Boyle

Oh, for a Muse of Mobishness : A Red Dirt-Kingdom for a Stage, with the People Causing Princes to Act
Conservatives, long-established, have a noted fondness for politics-as-literature. Whereas our more...

Steve Byas

Term Limits and Other Gimmicks
When I was preparing my recent column (see Summer edition) and talk on Our Michelle Obama...

Theodore King

The Federal Page for Fall 2017
Trans BanLast summer I reported on an amendment proposed by Congresswoman Vicki Hartzler of Missouri...

In The News

Constitution Staff

Federal Offices on 2018 Ballot
The U.S. Congress is composed of two chambers. Senators serve six-year terms with only a third of...

Constitution Staff

Special Elections for Legislature
Special Elections to fill vacancies in the Oklahoma Legislature continue, with four of eight vacant...

Constitution Staff

RIED Report Names Legislators Supporting Big Business Interests
In June, the Research Institute for Economic Development (RIED) released their legislative scorecard...

Constitution Staff

Bridenstine Nominated to Head NASA
In September, Oklahoma First District Congressman Jim Bridenstine was nominated to head the National...

Constitution Staff

Supreme Court Ruling Prompts Special Session of Legislature
Governor Mary Fallin issued an executive order calling for a special session of the Oklahoma...

Constitution Columnists

Richard Engle

Tax Increases are Never Conservative
In the effort to appear to govern, many Oklahoma Republican politicians continue to call for tax...

Brandon Dutcher

Oklahoma Voters Want Tax Dollars to Follow the Child
Nearly two in three Oklahoma voters support using tax dollars to choose the public or private school...

Andrew K. Boyle

Oh, for a Muse of Mobishness : A Red Dirt-Kingdom for a Stage, with the People Causing Princes to Act
Conservatives, long-established, have a noted fondness for politics-as-literature. Whereas our more...

© 2001 - 2009 The Oklahoma Constitution, all rights reserved.
Contact the Oklahoma Constitution by calling 405-366-1125 or emailing okconsti@aol.com
Content Management System (CMS) provided by WebTeks CMS.