OCPA Statement on Special Session

After Gov. Mary Fallin announced her intention to convene a special session of the Oklahoma Legislature on Sept. 25, OCPA President Jonathan Small released the following statement:

“There is simply no need for a special session. For the fiscal health of Oklahoma, officials should look into moving funds already available instead of proposing hundreds of millions of dollars in new and damaging tax increases on hard-working Oklahoma families.

“If the executive branch is creative enough to completely drain our state’s constitutionally protected Rainy Day Fund for $240 million, then they are creative enough to allocate a portion of TSET’s $1 billion endowment. Doing so, along with using surplus revenues, would completely meet the cash flow needs of the agencies affected by the loss of cigarette tax money until February when the Legislature reconvenes.

“For the long-term fiscal health of Oklahoma, state officials need to focus on state spending. Oklahoma state government is now on track to spend more money next year—more than $17.6 billion—than at any time in state history. The simple truth is we don’t have a revenue problem; we have a spending and a transparency problem.

“Hard-working Oklahoma families and small businesses are already chafing from the constant demand of tax consumers. It would be destructive and repugnant for the Governor and the Legislature to come into special session—costing taxpayers around $30,000 per day—just so they can pass whichever tax increases Scott Inman deems best.”