Political Diary: State tax revenues continue their strong recovery |
Gross receipts: Friday’s gross receipts report from State Treasurer Randy McDaniel shows continued strong growth in state tax revenue, with total tax payments of $1.5 billion in January up 27% from compared to the same month a year ago and up 19% from January 2020, which was just before the COVID -19 pandemic onset.
McDaniel, however, cautioned, saying, “A growing economy is still at the heart of record revenues, but fed funds and inflation are helping push the numbers up. All of these factors should be considered during this session as proposals impacting future state revenues and expenditures are discussed. »
Year-over-year gross production tax collections jumped 149.5% in January, while income tax rose 28% and sales taxes rose 18, 8%. Motor vehicle collections increased by 6.7%.
Gross Treasury receipts are all taxes paid to the state, including those collected on behalf of local authorities and money returned to taxpayers in the form of refunds and rebates.
Voting complications: Among the most confusing aspects of Oklahoma’s voter registration laws are those relating to felons. Generally, felons cannot vote or register to vote for the duration of their original sentence. This creates uncertainty, especially for those who believe a felony conviction precludes further voting and for those who believe they can re-register to vote once released.
Neither is true.
To complicate matters further, there are things like commutations and drug courts, which can alter the original charges.
The Oklahoma Legislature hasn’t shown much interest in simplifying the process or providing felons with clear information about regaining the right to vote after their release, but Sen. George Young, D-Oklahoma City , and a few other lawmakers, including Rep. Regina Goodwin, D-Tulsa, hope to make progress in the next session.
“While we believe that one of the goals of our criminal justice system is to help individuals become engaged and productive citizens, understanding their rights to participate in the electoral process is an important part of that discussion,” said Young said.
Meetings and events: Americans for Prosperity, a conservative advocacy organization, is hosting a State of the State Watch Party at noon Monday at 3307 S. Harvard Ave. Email [email protected] for more information.
Campaigns and elections: The Fraternal Order of State Police endorsed challenger Gentner Drummond in the June 28 Republican attorney general primary.
Enid’s retired pastor, Reverend Wade Burleson, told Enid News & Eagle he was challenging 3rd District incumbent Frank Lucas in the June 28 Republican primary. Burleson, former president of the Oklahoma Baptist General Convention, cited Lucas’ support for vaccinations and vaccine research and his priority on agricultural issues as reasons for the ouster.
The Oklahoma Democratic Party has launched an attack on Governor Kevin Stitt’s handling of COVID-19, saying he is responsible for the state’s high rankings for pandemic deaths, infections and hospitalizations .
“Stitt’s mishandling of this pandemic has cost Oklahoma life and should be a wake-up call to this governor’s utter incompetence in protecting Oklahomans,” the state party chair said, Alicia Andrews, accusing Stitt of “spreading false information” and blaming him for “not shutting down”. his Republican cohorts from spewing lies about COVID treatments, vaccine effectiveness, and the science behind wearing masks.
Bottom lines: Lucas said field rep Grace Enmeier has been promoted to district manager. … The application deadline is March 1 for the Creek County Democratic Party Scholarship Program. Email [email protected] for information and applications. … Oklahoma has joined seven other states suing the Biden administration for illegal immigration. … Stitt attended the National Governors Association’s winter meeting in Washington. … The City of Claremore has launched a program to help residents with overdue natural gas bills. … The maximum income to claim a double homestead exemption on property taxes is increased from $20,000 to $25,000 this year. … Israel’s Consul General in the Southwestern United States, Livia Link-Raviv, recently visited the Greenwood Rising History Center as a guest of State Senator Kevin Matthews, D-Tulsa.
— Randy Krehbiel, Tulsa World