Governor votes in favor of car tag question

Friday, August 18th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Gov. Frank Keating acknowledged Thursday that he voted by absentee ballot in favor of a state question that seeks to reduce car tag fees.

"Something is better than nothing," Keating said of State Question 691, which is on the ballot Tuesday.

The governor twice killed car tag bills when they came to his desk from the Legislature. He said Republicans will be back before the Legislature next year seeking further tax relief, particularly for used-car buyers.

"If I am a new-car buyer, I'd vote for it," he said. "If I am a used-car buyer, I'd vote against it."

But he said if people don't trade cars that often and simply renew them on an annual basis, "I'd be for it."

Asked if he changed his mind because the car tag is predicted to pass, Keating said that wasn't the reason.

A poll conducted in May by the GOP campaign consulting firm Cole, Hargrave, Snodgrass and Associates indicated that 74 percent of the voters surveyed said they will definitely or probably vote for the car tag question.

"I think the governor listened to all his phone calls that came to his office when he vetoed the bill, and it's never too late to correct your earlier mistake," said House Speaker Loyd Benson, D-Frederick.

SQ 691 would reduce car tags to an annual fee of $85 for vehicles four years old or less; $75 for cars five to eight years old; $55 for cars nine to 12 years old; $35 for cars 13 to 16 years old, and $15 for cars 17 years or older.

At the same time, it would increase excise taxes on used cars.

Overall, the tax cut to the state budget will be about $23 million.

The state question would not affect tag and excise tax fees assessed on commercial trucks.