Conservative Index Add
pagetitle

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017Last Update: Sunday, November 5th, 2017 11:44:31 PM

Big Government Groundhog Day

By: Rep. 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.

Other Stories From Spring 2017 Issue

March GRF Receipts 9% Below Estimate

Constitution Staff
General Revenue Fund (GRF) collections in March missed the official monthly estimate by 9 percent...

Historical and Theological Foundations of Law

Bill Graves
Noted Constitutional authority John Eidsmoe has written a legal classic on the origins and...

Federal Page for Spring 2017

Theodore King
Mullin Prepares to Break His Three-terms Pledge In 2012, Markwayne Mullin was the best speaker o...

Cole, Inhofe, Lankford, Russell, Wrong on Syria

Steve Byas
It was quite discouraging. Following the decision by President Trump to bomb a country Syria ...

You Cant Get There from Here

Richard Engle
Many of my friends know that from time to time I drive with Uber. I do it mostly late at night on...

Supt. Hofmeisters Plan Opposes President Trumps Call for Local Control

Linda Murphy
Supt. Hofmeisters Plan Opposes President Trumps Call for Local Control...

Big Government Groundhog Day

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

Fighting Federal Tyranny Requires Enforcing State Sovereignty

John Michener
Every branch of the federal government is involved in unconstitutional activity. Congress passes...

Why the Second Amendment Protects AR-15s

David Deming
For decades the Federal Judiciary has been trying to interpret the Second Amendment out of the...

Have Republican Lawmakers Been Suckered into the Agenda of the Education Industry?

Charlie Meadows
Have Republican Lawmakers Been Suckered into the Agenda of the Education Industry?...

Oklahomans Say Teachers Should Be Allowed to Vote on Unions

Brandon Dutcher
Getting public policy right in the area of education includes respecting teachers and freeing...

HB 1757, SB 691 and the Lot vs Millennials (advantage young people)

Andrew K. Boyle
We certainly are living in interesting times, in the mode of that famous Chinese curse sort of ways....

Spring 2017

Constitution Staff
$6 Billion for FY2018 AppropriationsThe appropriated budget hole for fiscal year 2018 which b...

Letter to Editior for Spring 2017

Constitution Staff
Bridenstine Town HallOn Tuesday, April 11, Jim Bridenstine, Oklahoma First District Congressma...

The Passing of Mike McCarville

Constitution Staff
Dennis Michael Mike McCarville, known to many as the man with a great face for radio,...

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.