Car Tag Vote passes by wide margin


Tuesday, August 22nd 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


Oklahomans voted by an overwhelming majority to lower the cost of car tags Tuesday.

State Question 691 passed with 81 percent of the vote. The $22.3 million measure sets a maximum tag cost of 85 dollars.

The costs would then drop to 75 dollars in the fifth year, 55 in the ninth year and to 15 dollars in the 17th year.

Governor Frank Keating voted yes on the question in absentee balloting last week. That came after Keating vetoed a similar bill passed by the state legislature earlier this year.

Some Republican lawmakers have been vocal against the question, claiming it raised excise taxes too high to justify the cut in tag prices.

“I can understand some of the conservatives frustrations, that some people had to get a tax increase so that others would get a tax cut, but that is the reality of the law,” said Keating at a Republican watch party in Tulsa Tuesday evening.

State Senator Todd Hiett has been one of the more vocal opponents of the tag vote. He said he would work towards some sort of legislation to fix what he calls the flawed law. “I’ll go back to the capitol and work to reverse the hidden tax increase and give the money back to the people that were hit with it tonight,” said Hiett.

The by-product of the lower tag prices is an increase in excise taxes paid on car purchases. Hiett has claimed that the increase in excise tax far outweighed the decrease in tag costs. Proponents of the question claimed the tax adjustments nearly cancelled each other out.

The new excise tax calculations and car tag prices go into effect October 1st.