Fri October 11, 2002
Ok. State Chamber States Positions on Nov. 5 Questions
Oklahoma City, OK – According to State Chamber President Dick Rush, the association favors passage of State Questions 693, 697, 701, and 703 while opposing State Question 704. State Question 701 proposes a consitutional amendment to limit the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Fund to 5.5 percent of the fund's average market value. Rush notes it's endorsed by leadership in both parties and would ensure consistant annual funding from the tobacco settlement money for smoking cessation, public health and education programs. State Question 703 proposes a constitutional amendment that lets the legislature enact laws limiting vendor liability for information technology contracts providing the liability not be less than the contract amount.
State Question 693 is a constitutional amendment that would expand sources for payment of local bonds issued for economic or community development to include a sales tax not to exceed one cent of apportionment tax increment funding. Rush said it would allow local governments to issue bonds with voter approval for economic or community development. State Question 697 proposes a constitutional amendment to allow county voters to decide whether to use a portion of property taxes from certain manufacturing facilities previously exempt from property tax for economic development purposes.
The State Chamber opposes State Question 704. It would amend the constitution to allow school districts to use money in their building fund for county assessor inspections for ad valorem re-evaluation purposes. According to Rush, the executive committee felt taking money from school districts' building funds to pay for this purpose is wrong as it would provide a new and much broader funding source for reinspection and revaluation of both real and personal property. For a look at the state questions' ballot wording, contact your county election board office or go to the Oklahoma Election Board website.