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Logan County tax reform to go into law

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Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has signed the proposal to reform county government election law. House Bill 1400, proposed by State Representative Jason Murphey and State Senator Anthony Sykes, requires county governments to allow voters to cast a distinct and separate vote on county tax questions.

CourthouseMurphey sponsored the bill after Logan County officials proposed a 2014 tax increase which was logrolled into the extension of two already-existing taxes. The Logan County logrolling clearly forced some voters to support the new tax even though they only wanted to extend the existing taxes.

The new tax generates approximately 1.4 million dollars to the discretionary budgets of the very same County Commissioners who logrolled the tax proposal. Murphey believes the new tax was not popular with the voters and would not have won approval had it stood on its own.

Following the passage of HB 1400, counties will separate out each tax question. In Logan County’s case this would have given each voter the right to cast three separate votes: one on each of the two existing tax extensions and one on the Commissioners’ new tax.

“With passage of this legislation counties will no longer have the ability to shake down the voters by forcing them to cast a single vote for a logrolled package of proposals,” Murphey explained. “This is a big win for the taxpayers!”

The reform will go into effect later this year.

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