Friday, February 17, 2017

Tulsa GOP Chair slams Fallin tax hike

From TheOkie - Tulsa County GOP Chairman Mike Ford sent this email out:


It’s Time to Cut Wasteful Spending, NOT Raise Taxes

Fellow Republicans,

Today, Lt. Governor Todd Lamb announced his resignation from Governor Fallin’s cabinet, making the following statement:

“Governor Fallin deserves to have someone in her cabinet who can be a strong advocate for her agenda, and that is something I am unwilling to do.  While I respect the determination with which Governor Fallin met her obligation to present a balanced budget to the legislature, I cannot support her proposed tax increases.  This proposal will adversely harm Oklahoma’s small businesses and families, especially those in our service industry.  While Governor Fallin and I have disagreed on issues from time-to-time, our differences on this important topic are so significant they preclude me from continuing to serve on her cabinet.”

As Chairman of the Republican Party of Tulsa County, I do not have the authority or the right to voice my opinions on behalf of all Tulsa Republicans. Very seldom (if ever) should an elected officer of the Republican Party make public statements criticizing our elected Republican officials, but I feel this is definitely an exception. We must stand strong on the conservative principles defined in our Platform. Governor Fallin has asked our Republican lawmakers to raise taxes on a massive scale in attempt to balance the Oklahoma budget. This plan not only defies one of the foundational pillars of Republicanism, but it also defies the basic fundamentals of economics. Oklahomans are already burdened with some of the highest taxes in our region; and yes, fees, permits, licensing, tolls, and other regulatory burdens on our businesses and families are indeed taxes.

Our Republican legislators ran for office by advocating for lower taxes and limited government, so something’s got to give. If Republicans continue kicking the can down the road by refusing to cut those hundreds of Million$ (if not Billion$) in government waste, and by taxing Oklahomans more, we will continue to alienate our base constituency (who expects Republican lawmakers to govern the way they campaigned), and we will surrender our majorities in both houses in 2018.

Governor Fallin campaigned as a fiscal Conservative, chaired the RNC Platform Committee and even signed pledges with tax reform organizations (see photo below) not to do so, yet she is proposing an tax policy that is destined to fail us as a Party, and its economically and electorally dangerous. Our Republican legislators cannot entertain her proposal and ignore the responsibility to make massive spending cuts in areas where we are literally wasting hundreds of Million$ in taxpayer dollars.

Long after governor Fallin is gone, the members of our state legislature will be left with the responsibility of governing, and with managing the consequences or benefits of fiscal decisions made by the Republican majority this year. It is for this reason that I applaud Lieutenant Governor Lamb’s actions today to object to these policies, and I encourage our elected Republicans in both the State House and State Senate to respectfully resist the governor’s call for tax increases.

Furthermore, I encourage Oklahoma’s elected Republicans (including Governor Fallin) to become emboldened with the resolve necessary to advance the conservative principles defined in our Party’s Platform. I implore them to think outside the box, daring to make history by utilizing our brightest people, disregarding the status quo, and reinventing government. It’s time to throw everything on the table (including your own sacred cows, and especially those of lobbyists and special interest groups) making tough, necessary decisions in the best interest of all Oklahomans.

We’ve had a supermajority since 2010. There is nobody else to blame for Oklahoma’s failure to offer reformed tax rates that end corporate welfare and create a fair, opportunistic and competitive economic environment to rival those of surrounding states. The opportunity has been there all along to develop a more diverse economy and broad tax base, which would end the turbulent instability of revenue shortages we experience every time the price of oil plummets.

We won’t get another chance in 2018. There won’t be popular presidential candidate or political rock stars running for U.S. senate or congress to excite the base for our down ticket legislative candidates. WE WILL LOSE DOZENS OF SEATS in 2018 if Oklahoma Republicans do not reduce the size of government, improve K-12 teacher pay, fix roads and bridges, and balance the budget. We CAN NOT raise taxes, but must instead REFORM this broken tax structure within the next 18 months. These issues were on the ballot last year. Republicans said (again) they had solutions to fix these problems (which they do), and the fortitude to carry out necessary reforms (which remains to be seen). These issues will be on the ballot again in 2018, with no political cover this time around.

It’s time for Oklahoma Republicans to make history by implementing the conservative principles we preach, proving to our citizens (and the rest of the country) that these principles work. It took us 100 years to earn this opportunity. We may never again have an opportunity like this, so the void of leadership and collective vision must be filled now.

Please call the office of Governor Mary Fallin and tell her “It’s time to cut wasteful spending, NOT raise taxes!

Local: (405) 521-2342
Fax: (405) 521-3353
Oklahoma State Capitol
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd., Room 212
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

Thank you,

Mike Ford, Chairman
Republican Party of Tulsa County

Rep. Bobby Cleveland: we’re just one bill away from a cattle gas tax

State Rep. Bobby Cleveland (R-Slaughterville)
A taxing proposal

There’s been a whole lot of talk about our $868 million budget hole this year and ways the lawmakers could fill the gap.

One idea driving a lot of the conversation: raising taxes.

Now I might be old fashioned, but I believe it’s my job as a lawmaker to cut government, not to hike taxes. So when people float proposals to increase the motor fuel tax or expand taxes to include services like child care, legal fees and utility services, my antenna goes up. There’s got to be a better way.

Fortunately, I’m not the only one who believes this. Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb has stepped out in opposition to the new tax proposal, and I stand with him 110 percent.

Before we consider taxing our taxidermy or lawn services, shouldn’t we look at our own spending? Shouldn’t we do everything we can to avoid allowing the government to take even more of our hard-earned money out of our pockets? If the answer to that question isn’t “yes,” then I don’t know what I’m doing up here at the Capitol.

Look at agencies like the Department of Public Safety, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. These agencies could easily be consolidated into a single department, and it would result in a more efficient system, ease the flow of information between departments and ultimately save the taxpayers money. We’re one of a handful of states whose public safety departments still operate separately, and it’s high time we rethink our organizational charts.

So before we go and start taxing dead people, we need to look at cutting spending and current tax credits. The wind isn’t going anywhere in Oklahoma, and neither are the companies who harvest it. That’s an easy credit we could eliminate.

I understand the cigarette tax is an alluring idea for some. Smoking is terrible, and it costs the state money. But to increase taxes by $1.50 per pack would largely impact low-income Oklahomans more than others, and that’s just not right.

The Oklahomans I’ve heard from in the past week are adamantly opposed to new taxes. And voters in November flat-out rejected the notion of an increased sales tax. You sent a resounding message to the Legislature. And what is the loudest idea that’s surfaced so far at the Capitol? New taxes.

I refuse to believe this is the best option in front of us. But if it is, I’m surprised we haven’t gone ahead and started regulating cattle farts like they have in California. In an attempt to lessen methane emissions, the liberal state decided it would be wise to target greenhouse gasses from cattle.

With all of these proposed taxes for Oklahoma, I’d say we’re just one bill away from a cattle gas tax. And do we really want to be like California?

Fallin responds to Lamb's cabinet resignation


Governor Mary Fallin Statement on Resignation of Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb from Her Cabinet

OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today issued the following statement after Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb announced his resignation from her Cabinet, where he served as small business advocate:
“I was disappointed and surprised to learn from a press release that Lt. Gov. Lamb had decided to quit serving as a member of my Cabinet.

 “I have always valued Todd’s independent voice. I valued it when we first came into office when we dealt with a similar financial crisis and I value his independent voice today. I’ve never been afraid to have dissenting voices at the table. I think the people of Oklahoma benefit from that. There will always be a seat at the table for his independent voice.

 “Leading a state is never easy, especially when there are so many challenges and we are faced with a prolonged economic downturn. But through ideas, hard work, long hours and making tough decisions, we can find solutions to those challenges our state faces. We have to.

 “As governor, I have provided a reality check of doing the same thing over and over with the structural deficits of our budget and expecting a different outcome. If we want to educate our children, a teacher pay raise and ensure the health and public safety of our citizens as well as improve our roads and bridges, we must fix the structure of our budget so we don’t keep having budget shortfalls and uncertainty.”

Fallin says she heard about Lamb's resignation from reading his press release. That's interesting. Lamb told KFAQ radio host Pat Campbell, and the Tulsa World reported as well, that Lamb's chief of staff Keith Beall met with the Governor's chief of staff Chris Benge Thursday morning before his announcement went out... so it sounds like either Governor Fallin is being dishonest, or her staff hid it from her. Campbell said on air that it reminded him of Barack Obama's "I learned about it like you did, on the TV news."

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Conservative Legislators Applaud Lamb's Opposition to Sales Tax Hike

Here's a news release from the office of State Rep. George Faught (R-Muskogee):


Conservative Legislators Applaud Lamb's Opposition to Sales Tax Hike

Oklahoma City – A group of conservative Oklahoma legislators today expressed support for Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb's decision to resign from Governor Fallin's cabinet over her plan to dramatically increase Oklahomans' sales tax burden.

Lamb stepped down from his cabinet position as Small Business Advocate, saying, "While I respect the determination with which Governor Fallin met her obligation to present a balanced budget to the legislature, I cannot support her proposed tax increases.  This proposal will adversely harm Oklahoma’s small businesses and families, especially those in our service industry."

In her State of the State address, Governor Fallin presented a plan that would tax 164 different categories of services provided by Oklahoma small businesses and entrepreneurs. By the governor's own estimate, this would result in a tax hike of over $1,700,000,000.00.

"Those of us in the legislature who are small business owners understand the devastating impact this would have on small businesses, the backbone of the Oklahoma economy, and on consumers," said State Rep. George Faught (R-Muskogee). "We need to fight for those we represent and stop this tax increase dead in its tracks."

"Putting a massive, 1.7 billion dollar tax increase on Oklahomans will serve to hurt our economy just as it is beginning to recover, " said State Sen. Nathan Dahm (R-Broken Arrow). "This approach is fundamentally flawed."

"Tax increases kill jobs. Just as families must trim their budgets when their income goes down, government should trim spending when revenue dips, instead of raising taxes. Too many politicians lack the courage to say NO to big-spending government bureaucrats," said Rep. Kevin Calvey (R-Oklahoma City).

"Just three months ago, Oklahoma voters overwhelmingly voted down a $615,000,000 sales tax increase," said State Rep. John Bennett (R-Sallisaw). "That message should be heard loud and clear by the Governor and by legislative leadership: Oklahomans don't want more taxes."

"I am excited to see our conservatives being willing to make the tough decisions instead of taking the easy way out in taxes. We have got to deal with the tax credits and the spending for unnecessary functions of our Government. I fully support Todd Lamb and appreciate his bold stand," said State Rep. Kevin McDugle (R-Broken Arrow).

"Last session, I vehemently fought against a service tax because it will add an incredible burden on our service industry. The Governor's proposal is asking our small business owners to work all day and then come home and spend another hour or two on unnecessary paperwork rather than spending time with their families. I applaud Lamb's decision." says Rep. Chuck Strohm (R-Jenks).

"Republicans opposed a similar Democrat plan in 2003, saying 'This is a job-killing proposal that would damage the weak Oklahoma economy'", said State Sen. Marty Quinn (R-Claremore). "What was true back then is true now, and Republicans should oppose this plan as well."

Citing their fundamental disagreements with Gov. Fallin's proposed tax hike, the following conservative legislators pledged to do what they can to stop this tax increase from becoming law:

State Rep. John Bennett (R-Sallisaw)
State Rep. David Brumbaugh (R-Broken Arrow)
State Rep. Kevin Calvey (R-Oklahoma City)
State Rep. Bobby Cleveland (R-Slaughterville)
State Rep. George Faught (R-Muskogee)
State Rep. Kevin McDugle (R-Broken Arrow)
State Rep. Lewis Moore (R-Edmond)
State Rep. Mike Ritze (R-Broken Arrow)
State Rep. Chuck Strohm (R-Jenks)
State Sen. Mark Allen (R-Spiro)
State Sen. Nathan Dahm (R-Broken Arrow)
State Sen. James Leewright (R-Bristow)
State Sen. Marty Quinn (R-Claremore)
State Sen. Anthony Sykes (R-Moore)

Richardson Applauds Lamb's Resignation over Fallin's Tax Plan


Richardson Applauds Lamb's Decision to Follow in Opposing Service Tax

Tulsa, OK, February 16, 2017–  Below is a statement from Gary Richardson about Lt. Governor Todd Lamb's decision to resign from Governor Fallin's cabinet over her proposed service tax.

"I am glad that Lt. Governor Lamb has finally decided to follow my call to oppose Governor Fallin’s proposed tax on the service industry," said Richardson.

"I encourage Lt. Governor Lamb and the rest of the Republican members of the Oklahoma Legislature to join me in standing on Republican values by opposing all of Governor Fallin’s proposed tax initiatives including her proposed hike on tobacco and gasoline taxes.  Only then can we all work toward a comprehensive solution that eliminates waste in our state government and funds our state agencies without raising taxes."

Lamb's resignation comes one day after Richardson released a video highlighting all of the industries that would be taxed under Governor Fallin's proposed plan, which has been viewed over 16,000 times in just 24 hours on Richardson's Facebook page .  Click here to watch the video.

Lamb breaks with Fallin, resigns from Cabinet over sales tax proposal

BOOM:


Lamb Breaks with Fallin on Tax Policy

Oklahoma City- Lt. Governor Todd Lamb today announced his resignation from Governor Fallin’s cabinet, where Lamb has served as the state’s Small Business Advocate, one of many roles the Lt. Governor fills.  This resignation does not affect Lamb’s role as Lt. Governor.

“In Oklahoma, the Governor and Lt. Governor are separately elected positions. While both are Republicans, at this time Lieutenant Governor Lamb believes it is best for him to vacate the cabinet position,” stated Lamb’s Chief of Staff, Keith Beall.  “His decision to resign was made after yesterday’s cabinet meeting in which Governor Fallin maintained her support for taxing 164 services affecting every Oklahoma small business and family,” Beall concluded.

Lt. Governor Lamb made the following statement

“Governor Fallin deserves to have someone in her cabinet who can be a strong advocate for her agenda, and that is something I am unwilling to do.  While I respect the determination with which Governor Fallin met her obligation to present a balanced budget to the legislature, I cannot support her proposed tax increases.  This proposal will adversely harm Oklahoma’s small businesses and families, especially those in our service industry.  While Governor Fallin and I have disagreed on issues from time-to-time, our differences on this important topic are so significant they preclude me from continuing to serve on her cabinet.”

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Gary Richardson slams Fallin's sales tax hike

Gary Richardson, the 2002 Independent candidate for Governor and exploring a run in 2018 as a Republican, posted this video today slamming Governor Mary Fallin's proposed $1.7 billion sales tax expansion.