Siano said SQ 766 and the proposed 3 percent cap in SQ 758 create a cumulative effect of reduced revenue at a time when revenue is short.
“It’s certainly a revenue reduction in the way we currently tax, and it’s unpredictable in the future,” Siano said.
The Oklahoma Policy Institute is a nonprofit organization with a mission to promote “adequate, fair, and fiscally responsible funding of public services and expanded opportunity for all Oklahomans by providing timely and credible information, analysis, and ideas.”
The institute, in a blog post by tax specialist Michelle Cantrell says, “SQ 766 has widespread implications that could drain tens of millions of dollars from schools, fire and police protection, and other vital services, while potentially boosting homeowners’ property taxes.”
Cantrell said that SQ 766 could cost local governments as much as $50 million in property tax revenue, the majority of which supports schools.
“As our economy has become more service- and technology-oriented, the value of a company is increasingly based upon intangible assets,” Cantrell writes in her blog post. “In 1975, intangible assets comprised around 2 percent of the net asset book value of S&P 500 companies; by 2005, it was over 40 percent, and the trend is likely to continue. If SQ 766 passes, Oklahoma will find itself increasingly limited in its ability to tax properties.”
The impact if approved
Passing the measure could create a loophole for some public service businesses, Tinsley said
“If it passes, what we feel will occur is the big companies will turn in less public service because that’s intangibles,” he said. “The assessors believe we will see a drop in public service (taxes).”
The Oklahoma Tax commission assesses public service companies.
“The state values that,” he said.
Rural counties likely will feel the greatest impact.
“The bigger counties are not going to be hurt,” Tinsley said. “In some counties, 60 percent of their revenue is in public service because they don’t have a big market as far as business tax.”
Joy Hampton 366-3539 jhampton@ normantranscript.com