Repeal SQ 640: Time to fix a 25 year-old mistake

It has now been twenty-five years since Oklahoma voters approved State Question 640 in March of 1992 to amend the State Constitution to require either a majority vote of the people in a general election or a three-fourths vote of both legislative chambers to approve any tax increase. Because it is nearly impossible to get three-fourths of the Legislature to agree on anything controversial—and raising taxes will always be controversial—it is time to repeal SQ640 to give our duly elected government the necessary flexibility to help solve our state’s long-term revenue problems.

SQ640 began as an initiative petition backlash against the income and sales tax increases contained in the Education Reform Act of 1990, better known as House Bill 1017. These increases followed on the heels of successive sales tax, motor fuel tax, and cigarette tax increases enacted during the 1980s. Governors of both political parties, Democrat George Nigh and Republican Henry Bellmon, determined that tax increases were necessary along with spending cuts to shore up the state budget during the depths of the ‘80s oil bust.

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