Conservative Index Add
pagetitle

Thursday, April 25th, 2019Last Update: Thursday, January 31st, 2019 08:02:19 PM

Big Government Groundhog Day

By: Jason Murphey

State officials are continuing to consider an array of tax and fee increases. I instinctively know that these taxes and fees will have a traumatic effect on the state’s economy and I will oppose them.

When the government increases a fee or tax it discourages the public from doing business and ironically this can result in an actual decrease in state government revenues.

Those who want to raises taxes and fees are reviewing the tax spreadsheets and scrounging for more revenues. They look at their spreadsheet and do some very basic math such as: “this fee generates 3 million dollars each year, if we increase the fee by 50% it will generate an extra 1.5 million.”

Over the years I have observed that once the tax-increasing state official does this math, it can be very hard to diffuse him of the notion that his logic is flawed.

I can explain, “just because you raise the fee doesn’t mean you will get that much revenue because you will put some people out of business and then they won’t be around to give you any money at all. You might actually see a revenue drop because of this.”

My logic isn’t well received. It’s easier for the tax increasor to believe his simplistic math than the intangible theories of what they perceive to be a free market ideologue.

However, this year is different. I have the benefit of very tangible results to make my case.

In April, state legislators won committee approval for a punitive and massive new fee on the vending machine industry. They proposed a 200 percent increase on the yearly fee for each vending machine’s decal – from 75 dollars per machine to 150 per machine.

Those who have read these articles from previous years will know that this is “groundhog day” as this isn’t the first time this has been enacted.

In 2010, as the state dealt with a large budget shortfall, they made a very similar mistake. They increased the fee on the vending machines by 300%. In 2010, soon after passage of the fee increase, I wrote the following:

“This new law will have a devastating impact on Oklahoma’s vending machine operators, at least one of whom lives in House District 31. He has since informed me that he has already pulled his first machine out of service and may very well go out of business.”

Small business owners are not the only ones affected. Legislators have been informed by Coca-Cola that the change will also impact their business. They may be forced to pull marginally producing machines and lay off employees as a result.

This reduction in the number of machines will reduce the revenue which the fee generates to the state. Ironically, legislators will be in part thwarted in the effort to generate revenue because there will probably be fewer machines to tax. And, as a result of this short-sighted policy, any number of Oklahomans may become unemployed.”

Unfortunately, I was in the minority opinion and the majority of the Legislature voted for the increase.

About Jason Murphey

Jason Murphey was a member of Oklahoma House of Representatives and was term-limited in 2018. He scored a perfect 100% score on the Oklahoma Conservative Index for each of 12 years he served.

Other Articles By Jason Murphey

Stopping the Revolving Door

It was quite the surreal moment in the Oklahoma House of Representatives! As the 2018 legislative...

My Criteria for Voting on Legislative Proposals

Consider the following statement one might hear if they stay around the capitol very long: If...

The Need to Transform the Legislative Process

It is the time of year when legislators file legislation for the next session. Every so often I feel...

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...

Other Constitution Columnists

David Deming

A Tale of Two Professors
In the Fall 2018 issue of the Oklahoma Constitution, I related the persecution of OU law professor...

Jason Murphey

Stopping the Revolving Door
It was quite the surreal moment in the Oklahoma House of Representatives! As the 2018 legislative...

Julie Wilkinson

How I Got In. How I Left.
Back in 1984, left a dysfunctional relationship with my boyfriend in Florida, and decided to move...

Steve Byas

Legislature: Rescind the Con-Con Call
Legislature: Rescind the Con-Con CallJames Madison, the father of the Constitution, said he feared...

Steve Byas

Career Politician
Far too often, political campaigns discuss matters that are really not all that important. Rather...

Tim Bakamjian

The Medicaid Mess and How to Deal with it
Medicaid is a means-tested entitlement program that is overseen by the federal government, but is...

Theodore King

The Federal Page for Winter 2019
Congresswoman Kendra HornI suppose I should offer congratulations to Congreswoman Kendra Horn on her...

Richard Engle

Abolition Making Victims into Criminals
In the recent GOP gubernatorial primary a premature retiree from the State House, Dan Fisher, ran a...

Linda Murphy

Oklahoma Education and Workforce Development
Oklahoma state government is in transition to new leadership with Gov. Kevin Stitt, Lt. Gov. Matt...

John Michener

Why Kill Bills?
Grassroots activists around the state support bills based on principle. We believe there is a right...

Charlie Meadows

What Is Wrong With Our Media?
This article will evaluate TV, local talk radio and the Oklahoman regarding the quality of...

In The News

Constitution Staff

Voters Reject Four of Five State Questions
Six statewide ballot measures were certified for the 2018 elections in Oklahoma. One measure, the...

Constitution Staff

All Judges Survive Retention Ballot
On November 6, Oklahoma voters retained four Supreme Court justices, three Court of Criminal Appeals...

Constitution Staff

Democrats Flip Oklahoma Congressional Seat
The big news coming out of the Oklahoma congressional elections was the flipping of the Fifth...

Constitution Staff

Republicans Sweep Statewide Secondary Offices
In addition to the governors office, a host of secondary statewide offices, and one seat for the...

Constitution Staff

Governor Kevin Stitt
On January 14, J. Kevin Stitt was inaugurated as the 28th governor of the State of Oklahoma. He...

Constitution Columnists

David Deming

A Tale of Two Professors
In the Fall 2018 issue of the Oklahoma Constitution, I related the persecution of OU law professor...

Jason Murphey

Stopping the Revolving Door
It was quite the surreal moment in the Oklahoma House of Representatives! As the 2018 legislative...

Julie Wilkinson

How I Got In. How I Left.
Back in 1984, left a dysfunctional relationship with my boyfriend in Florida, and decided to move...

© 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.