Keating Proposes Plan For Lowering Car Tag Prices

Sunday, November 28th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Words, but no action to give Oklahoma tax payers a break. For the past few years lawmakers have talked about lowering the cost of car tags in Oklahoma. But, they've never agreed on how they will make up for the state's loss in revenue. A Glenpool Senator says a vote by the people is the only answer.

Democratic Senator Lewis Long raises race horses for a living. When he sells a horse, he doesn't pay a tax he thinks he should though. That's why he wants lawmakers to close loopholes such as this one, in order to cover the costs of lowering the price of car tags.

Long says the state gives between $700 million and a billion dollars worth of tax exemptions a year.

"So that the rich and famous in this state are paying their fair share and some working people get some relief for a change," says Long.

At a news conference this week, Governor Frank Keating announced his plan. Oklahomans would pay $85 to license a new to a 5 year old car. Owners would pay $45 dollars for cars 6 to 10 years old and $15 dollars for cars 11 years and older. The Governor's proposal would save Oklahoman's more than $71 million a year.

"To buy grocery's, pharmaceuticals, maybe a weekend at the lake, new clothes for children, put some money away for a child's education. Those things we as parents need to do and only can do if we have extra money in our pockets," says Keating.

The Governor wants to use the tobacco settlement and extra projected state revenue to pay for it. Democrats say education needs that money. Many Oklahomans say lawmakers need to stop fighting because it's the taxpayer who's hurt.

"I think it is outrageous and they need to lower it and think of other ways to raise revenue," says one taxpayer.

Senator Long says the answer is simple.

"The only way you are going to get it done is for people to vote on it because the legislature isn't going to vote on it democrats or republicans," says Long.

But, Long says democrats and republicans would still have to agree on what to present to the people. The Governor's plan also calls for cutting the state income tax and estate tax.