The Norman Transcript

Opinion

October 28, 2012

SQ 766 a pig dressed as a debutante

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

About two weeks back, a commercial began running on television promoting passage of State Question 766. According to the message, passage of SQ 766 would cure a wide range of ills.

Without the changes sought, attacks could be made to levy taxes on everything from teaching certificates to college degrees and a number of other professional accomplishments.

The promotion even claims that this single change in the Oklahoma Constitution would curb so-called “reactionary judges,” keeping them from forcing citizens to pay for sex-change operations and for offenders to sue their victims.

The fact is that SQ 766 would amend Section 6A of Article 10 of the Oklahoma Constitution to exempt all intangible personal property from ad valorem property taxation. At present, that section exempts most intangible personal property from ad valorem property taxation while allowing taxation of certain properties.

To be clear, ad valorem property tax is a tax imposed upon the fair market value of real and personal property. By definition, intangible personal property is property whose value is not derived from its physical attributes but rather what it represents or evidences. For example, patents, inventions, formulas, designs, trade secrets, contracts, leases, mineral interests, custom computer software, trademarks, trade names, brand names and a few other intangible properties may be taxed as property. All other intangible property already is exempt under Oklahoma law.

Another important point, only the Oklahoma legislature has the authority to initiate and enact — with approval of the governor or a vote of the people — any taxes.

The only intangible property worth the time and effort to tax would be items of monetary value. Patents and copyrights both carry value due to the fact that use of or sale of anything included are limited to the owner.

Examples of patents having value include the Intel microchip, the automobile fuel injection system and many thousands of other items we use every day. Copyrighting is practiced by the NFL, Major League Baseball, the NCAA and practically every publishing and television network in the world.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Top honors for NPS

    Top honors keep rolling in for both of Norman’s high schools. The district learned this past week that Norman High School and Norman North High School have been recognized as two of the most rigorous high schools in the country and in the ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Wind power bursting

    There are a few wind generators dotting the Norman skyline, but western and northwestern Oklahoma makes up for the deficit here. An industry group this week said Oklahoma ranks fourth nationally in the amount of wind-generated ...

    April 16, 2014

  • First, do no harm — to your bank account

    After being sued by the Wall Street Journal, the government finally released its Medicare reimbursement data last week. It included the less-than-stunning revelation that 28 of the 100 doctors who received the largest payments in 2012 were ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Reading between the lines

    Reading is such an improbable idea — a miracle, really. Yet simple squiggles on a page, arranged just so, can convey ideas that change the way we think or introduce to us characters we love for a lifetime. In celebration of reading — and ...

    April 15, 2014

  • CCFI tackling area’s child abuse problem

    Editor, The Transcript: To those of you who are reading this editorial, I assume you care or at least are entertained by the opinions of others. It is my hope and desire that when you read this editorial, you will care about the facts. ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Protect your home from wildfires

    To most people, fuel is what you put into your gas tank. To firefighters, it means something altogether different. To people who make a living putting out fires, fuel is that material that feeds wildfires — and there is an abundance of it ...

    April 12, 2014

  • League of Women Voters meeting

    Editor, The Transcript: On Saturday, May 10, the Norman League of Women Voters will hold its annual meeting at the Memorial Presbyterian Church, 601 24th Ave. SW, Norman, OK, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm....

    April 12, 2014

  • Does Oklahoma need advice from Texas?

    Does Texas have a lock on “brilliant minds”? The names of Texans like Congressman Louie Gomert, Sen. Ted Cruz and that other guy ... I can’t think of his name ... oh yeah, Rick Perry come to mind very quickly. Add to that infamous list ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Why Comcast-Time Warner deal makes sense

    Say this about the deal announced Thursday for Comcast to buy Time Warner Cable: It’s big. Big price tag of $45 billion. Big combined subscriber base of 30 million households. And big risk of a veto from government antitrust regulators....

    April 12, 2014

  • Solid evidence within ice record

    In his November 10 Letter, Gary Reynolds misstated information in the October 27 op-ed by Catherine Hobbs, “New report says global warming is “unequivocal.” Mr. Reynolds incorrectly stated that Dr. Hobbs cited evidence from the 2007 UN ...

    April 12, 2014