Okla. AG says Vision2 proposal is legal

Bryan Cohen Oct. 9, 2012, 9:30am


OKLAHOMA CITY (Legal Newsline) - Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt released an official opinion on Thursday in response to questions posed about the proposed $748.8 million Vision2 tax plan that will go before voters on Nov. 6.

Pruitt confirmed the legality of the Vision2 proposal in his opinion, which would allow county commissioners to ask voters to approve a tax that takes effect after they leave office. The opinion answered a series of questions asked in August by Rep. Mike Ritze, R-Broken Arrow, Tulsa World reports.

"There is no constitutional or statutory restriction placed upon the ability of a board of county commissioners or the governing body of a municipality to submit for approval of the voters residing in the taxing jurisdiction, the levying of a tax which will not be levied until after the expiration of terms of office of the governing body's members," Pruitt said in the opinion.

Additionally, the commissioners may not extend the length of a tax or change the purpose of a tax without a vote from the people, according to Pruitt's opinion.

Voters had raised the issue about whether the Vision2 proposal was an extension of the Vision 2025 tax or a new tax that could be separately approved by the people to start at the end of an expiring tax.

The Vision 2025 tax is set to expire at the end of 2016, while the Vision2 tax would begin in 2017. Pruitt's opinion makes the definition a moot point, since a change in the purpose of the tax would require a new vote of the people regardless, according to Tulsa World.

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