1992 amendment blamed for rising state, local debts

Sunday, July 7th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Tulsa-AP) -- Oklahoma's state debt has increased eight-fold since a 1992 constitutional amendment that requires a vote of the people on any tax increase.

Documents show that Oklahoma ended 2001 with nine-hundred-16 (m) million dollars in tax-backed obligations. In 1992, the state was one-hundred-13 (m) million dollars in debt. That doesn't include more than five (b) billion dollars in local, highway and other debts.

Debt collections have grown from four (m) million dollars to one-hundred-16 (m) million dollars. But the Tulsa World reports that that's less than three percent of state expenses.

Governing magazine's 2002 Sourcebook reports Oklahoma's state and local debt works out to more than 33-hundred dolalrs for every man, woman and child in the state.