Oklahoma ' Taxpayers Bill of Rights' proposed

Thursday, December 9th 2004, 6:34 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Two groups have introduced a proposal for a Taxpayers Bill of Rights constitutional amendment.

The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs and the Americans for Prosperity Foundation said yesterday that under the amendment, state expenditures couldn't grow more than the rate of annual population growth, plus inflation.

Any excess in tax collections would be rebated.

The OCPA said a report by University of Colorado professor Barry Poulson shows that state expenditures in Oklahoma increased by 89 percent between 1994 and 2004.

But the Oklahoma Public Employees Association has concerns about the idea and Poulson's numbers.

Executive Director Gary Jones says the process could take away budgeting flexibility and limit publicly elected lawmakers' responsibility to take an active role in the appropriations process.

Colorado is the only state with such a program and is facing a large budget deficit next year.