There will be an all-out effort to repeal State Question 640 beginning in the 2018 legislative session in February.
SQ 640, which was passed by a vote of the people, requires a 75 percent vote of the Legislature to raise taxes.
It is a constitutional firewall that protects Oklahomans from confiscatory taxes.
In 2017, Mary Fallin, most Democrats and many liberal Republicans tried their best to raise taxes. In the regular session, they passed an unconstitutional cigarette tax. They tried to label it something other than a tax but even the liberal Oklahoma Supreme Court couldn’t swallow that lie and overturned the measure, which barely passed with a little over 50 percent.
Fallin called two special sessions in 2017 for the sole purpose of passing permanent tax increases of more that a billion dollars. This was supposed to fix a budget shortfall.
However, that shortfall has grown smaller and smaller and the truth is that state government has enough money to cover vital expenses without one more cent of taxpayer money.
But Fallin, the Democrats and some Republicans will never be able to raise that level of taxation because of a core of fiscally conservative Republicans in the House. Spending bills must originate in the House and the Conservative Caucus within the GOP has the votes to block.
If you keep raising taxes, you will never get meaningful reform. Why would any state agency take a fiscally responsible approach when they get more money every year?
The key for the liberals and the chambercrats is to repeal SQ640. And they will spend a small fortune to talk Oklahomans to vote for the repeal.
Let’s hope the Conservative Caucus prevails and SQ640 stays intact.