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    Entries in Oklahoma (4)

    Wednesday
    Nov092016

    Pleas for More Education Funding Fall Short on Election Day

    Voters in two states rejected measures that would have raised taxes -- either for consumers or corporations.
    BY  NOVEMBER 9, 2016

    Voters in two financially-struggling states have struck down proposed tax increases that would have given more much-needed funding to education.

    Public education was one of the biggest casualties of the Great Recession. Nearly a decade since it started, nearly half of states are still providing less general funding for schools than they were the year the economy tanked. But the rejections on election night reflect a feeling among taxpayers that governments are punting on a problem by passing on costs to them, rather than making their own difficult decisions.

    In Oregon, which is facing a $1.3 billion deficit, voters shot down a proposal to impose a tax hike on corporations with more than $25 million in annual sales in the state. Opponents, largely corporations, called it a sales tax in disguise because they warned businesses would pass on the costs to consumers.

    Pat McCormick, a spokesman for the campaign to defeat the tax, told the The Oregonian/OregonLive that Measure 97 "fell of its own weight when people understood what it would do."

    Click to read more ...

    Saturday
    Oct292016

    In Need of Education Funding, States Look to Customers and Corporations

    Tax-raising ballot measures this fall showcase the political power of corporations.
    BY  OCTOBER 21, 2016

    Public education was one of the biggest casualties of the Great Recession. Nearly a decade since it started, nearly half of states are still providing less general funding for schools than they were the year the economy tanked.

    Two states, however, are asking voters to boost education funding this fall -- but they differ on who should pay for it: customers or corporations.

    Click to read more ...

    Friday
    Jul082016

    The Week in Public Finance: States in Recession, Higher Ed Winners and Losers, and Virtual Retirement

    A roundup of money (and other) news governments can use.
    BY  JULY 8, 2016

    Oklahoma's in a Recession

    New economic data shows what Oklahoma officials have been fearing: The state has officially entered a recession. Revised federal Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) data shows that the state’s gross domestic product was negative for most of 2015.

    A recession starts when there are two quarters of economic contraction. Originally, the BEA reported that Oklahoma’s economy contracted in the second quarter, grew by 0.1 percent during the third quarter and contracted again in the last quarter of last year. But the third quarter figure was recently revised downward to -0.6 percent.

    Data for the first quarter of 2016 is expected to be released later this month, but according to State Treasurer Ken Miller, the prospects don’t look good.

    “General indicators fail to point to any marked economic recovery at this point,” he said in his latest state economic report.

    Click to read more ...

    Thursday
    Feb042016

    How Oil States Are Dealing With Sinking Prices and Revenue

    The states most dependent on oil tax revenues have different ways of dealing with the industry slowdown.
    BY  FEBRUARY 4, 2016

    Oil prices are now at their lowest level in 12 years -- below $30 a barrel. That's great news for consumers, but not for the states that depend on oil tax revenues.

    The falling price of oil, which has declined more than 60 percent since June 2014, has some states scrambling. With no end in sight, states that are more dependent on the industry simply can't replace the revenue by withdrawing from their substantial rainy day funds.

    Oil, natural gas and mining account for about 10 percent or more of gross domestic product in eight states: Alaska, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming. Last year, total tax revenues in the eight states declined by 3.2 percent, according to a new analysis by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government. In contrast, the remaining 42 states reported a 6.5 percent increase in total tax revenues.

    Although most of these states tend to budget conservatively, the good years for oil had an impact on their finances.

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