State Senator Randy Brogdon announced Wednesday that he will introduce a constitutional amendment to limit the future growth of the state government’s budget, known as the “Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights” or TABOR.
“Over the past ten years, state government has grown at an unsustainable rate of 89%, while the private sector has only grown 65%,” stated Brogdon, R-Owasso. “The TABOR amendment would limit the annual growth in the state budget to the level of inflation plus the state’s population growth, ensuring that the state’s budget does not grow faster than the family budget.”
The Taxpayer Bill of Rights amendment is designed to constrain the growth of government in an economic boom and stabilize the budget cycle during a downturn in the economy.
“The TABOR amendment will help control the growth of government by setting reasonable spending limits based on priorities and sound fiscal discipline. It will ensure that in an economic downturn there is a budget stabilization fund to help offset budget shortfalls. In surplus years TABOR will ensure that a portion of surplus revenues is rebated to taxpayers and used for income tax reform,” Brogdon said.
The TABOR amendment would:
Limit the growth in spending to the combined total of inflation and population growth.
Protect the Emergency Fund by allowing spending only on true emergencies.
Create a Budget Stabilization Fund to help prevent draconian cuts in future economic downturns.
Use surplus revenues to provide rebates to taxpayers and to reform the state income tax code.
Brogdon said using surplus revenues for income tax reform is a key part of the TABOR amendment, considering that the highest income tax rate kicks in for Oklahomans earning just $10,000 a year.
“By limiting the future growth of government and mandating tax relief in surplus years, TABOR will help get Oklahoma’s economic engine roaring again. It will be a boon for investment and job growth in Oklahoma,” Brogdon stated.