Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Richardson blasts Lamb for statement on removing sales tax exemptions


    Conservative GOP Candidate for Governor, Gary Richardson, is cautioning fellow Republicans to reject the Lt. Governor’s call to eliminate all sales tax exemptions.  Todd Lamb announced this week he wants to begin taxing all currently exempt entities which includes struggling school districts, local churches and farmers in Oklahoma.

   “How could anyone in his right mind believe the solution to Oklahoma’s problems is to levy new taxes on schools, churches and farmers?” Gary Richardson asks.  "20% of our school districts are down to four-day school weeks, our churches serve the poor in our communities, and the last thing our farmers and ranchers need is another government burden.  I cannot think of a more illogical response than demanding a new state sales tax on every capital purchase made by schools, churches, farmers and ranchers. Oklahoma desperately needs systemic changes to its budgeting process but this scheme would place the burden squarely on the shoulders of our children and most vulnerable citizens.“

    Richardson has been advocating for forensic audits of every state agency to weed out fraud, waste and corruption before considering tax hike.

    "The idea of Lamb bringing something new to the table is absurd. He was a State Senator for seven years, he has been Lt. Governor for seven more years, how much more time does this guy need to accomplish something?" says Richardson.  "I have put together a plan with detailed solutions, specific economic impact and tremendous savings to the taxpayers of Oklahoma. We need a political outsider to govern this state.  If someone has been a public servant for 14 years, yet is unable to campaign on his own record, it’s clear we desperately need a change in leadership.  You cannot solve the problem if you are the problem.“

    Gary Richardson is a native Oklahoman, a former US Attorney appointed by President Reagan and founder of a nationally-renowned law firm in Tulsa.

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Bloggers note: Richardson seems to be referring to comments Lamb made in this article by the Oklahoman:
In speeches and interviews as he campaigns for governor, Lamb has called for modifying or removing some of the $6.7 billion in sales tax exemptions, the largest of which cover goods purchased for resale and goods bought by manufacturers.
Further in the article:
Unlike Fallin's call to consider expanding the sales tax to dozens of services, the exemptions are relatively few; and the top two account for $5.7 billion of the $6.7 billion Lamb would review.

The exemption of sales for resale totals $3.7 billion a year. It is a common exemption in states and includes retailers that don't pay state sales taxes on inventory they purchase to sell to consumers. The exemption for goods bought for use in manufacturing a product is worth $2 billion a year.

Of the remaining state sales tax exemptions, the ones for governmental entities, drugs, consumer utility bills and agricultural sales are the biggest. Some — including ones for churches and charities — would seem untouchable.


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