State Question 766 'Yes' campaign mounted by business coalition
BY WAYNE GREENE World Senior Writer
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
10/17/12 at 3:58 AM
OKLAHOMA CITY - Gov. Mary Fallin will lead a State Chamber of Commerce-organized coalition supporting passage of a referendum to eliminate the state's intangible property tax.
More than 50 trade associations, grassroots organizations, local chambers of commerce and other civic groups from across the state have endorsed State Question 766.
The Yes on 766 coalition represents a broad-spectrum of interests - ranging from the Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee to the American Federation of Labor.
"I'm proud to stand with this broad coalition to ask Oklahomans for an important 'Yes' vote this November," Fallin said in a prepared statement. Fallin is the group's honorary chairwoman.
"I'm asking the voters to approve SQ 766 because doing so is vital to our state's continued economic growth and vitality," she said.
The measure would do away with the intangible property tax, which is assessed on things such as trademarks, customers lists and patents.
The tax is currently only paid by large businesses whose business property moves across county lines, such as pipelines, railroads and airlines. Those businesses have their property assessed by the state, not a county assessor.
Under state law, businesses that are assessed locally pay a small business activity tax in lieu of the intangible property tax.
While there is no comparable opposition group fighting SQ 766, some individuals have said the proposal would cost local governments - especially schools - millions of dollars in property tax funding and could lead to higher taxes for other property owners.
Eliminating the intangible property tax would result in an estimated $50.1 million reduction in ad valorem tax revenue in fiscal year 2014, according to a legislative analysis. About 60 percent of that money would go to school districts.
State Chamber President Fred Morgan pointed out that the intangible property tax issue started in 2009, when the state Supreme Court ruled that the tax had to be assessed.
"This is an issue that impacts every single Oklahoman," said Morgan, chairman of the Yes on 766 campaign. "Our state's taxation policies should not be dictated by judicial fiat. We encourage every Oklahoman to vote yes to overturn this court decision and prevent the largest tax increase in state history."
Members of Yes on 766
American Council of Engineering Companies-Oklahoma
American Institute of Architects, Oklahoma Chapter
American Subcontractors Association of Oklahoma
Americans for Prosperity-Oklahoma
Ada Chamber of Commerce
Ada Jobs Foundation
Altus Chamber of Commerce
Ardmore Chamber of Commerce
Ardmore Industrial Authority
Bartlesville Regional Chamber of Commerce
Bixby Metro Chamber of Commerce
Duncan Chamber of Commerce
El Reno Chamber of Commerce
Enid Chamber of Commerce
Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce
Grove Area Chamber of Commerce
Jenks Chamber of Commerce
Kingfisher Chamber of Commerce
Lawton Chamber of Commerce
National Federation of Independent Business
Oklahoma Association of Realtors
Oklahoma Cable and Telecommunications Association
Oklahoma Land Title Association
Oklahoma Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association
Oklahoma Pharmacists Association
Oklahoma Press Association
Oklahoma Recyclers Association
Oklahoma Society of CPAs
Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association
Oklahoma Professional Economic Development Council
Panhandle Regional Development Coalition, Inc.
Pauls Valley Chamber of Commerce
Tulsa Metro Chamber
Original Print Headline: Coalition pushes 'Yes' on SQ 766
Wayne Greene 918-581-8308
Gov. Mary Fallin: Voter approval of State Question 766 "is vital to our state's continued economic growth and vitality," she says