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Opinion

February 5, 2014

Capitol repairs needed

NORMAN — We’ve sounded the alarm for several years on the need to repair the crumbling state Capitol building. It turns 100 years old this summer and has seen better days. The yellow tape around some entrances doesn’t do much for tourism.

Gov. Mary Fallin this week called for a statewide bond issue on Capitol repairs. We believe that’s a good way to repair the aging structure, but it’s an odd contrast to the storm shelter issue where Mrs. Fallin wants local school districts to take on more debt.

One announced Democratic candidate for governor also wants a storm shelter bond issue with the state’s franchise tax earmarked to pay back the debt.

It’s unclear how lawmakers will respond. We’re already hearing rumblings from property owners who say Fallin’s school shelter plan would increase property taxes by as much as 30 percent. The shelter wars will take attention away from the governor’s plan to reduce the top personal income tax rate from 5.25 percent to 5 percent and cut most state agency budgets by about 5 percent.

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