Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Briefly.In Oklahoma

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Briefly.In Oklahoma

Article excerpt

Legislators Say Farm Groups Won't Fight Tax Plan WAGONER - Legislative leaders told Oklahoma publishers and editors Friday they are confident farm groups now opposing a property tax reform package will decide to at least remain neutral on a constitutional amendment set for a statewide vote next March.

House Speaker Jim Barker, D-Muskogee, said he could not understand how agricultural groups could oppose the constitutional change because it would put limits on how much property taxes could be raised and also would give voters control over the tax rate.

The comments came during a panel discussion at the Oklahoma Press Association's Summer Conference at Western Hills State Lodge.

Barker said he thinks farm groups ``will come around in the final analysis. We're very hopeful they will support it.''

House Appropriations Chairman Steve Lewis, D-Shawnee, said rural Oklahomans have a great fear of property tax changes, but resistance to the changes approved by the Legislature is much less than earlier in the session.

Stillwater Newspaper Publisher Honored WAGONER - Stillwater newspaper publisher James R. Bellatti was honored during the summer conference of the Oklahoma Press Association.

Bellatti, editor and publisher of the Stillwater NewsPress, received the 10th H. Milt Phillips award Friday.

The award recognized Bellatti's service to the newspaper industry, the community, state and nation.

Bellatti has been editor and publisher of the NewsPress since 1961.

Justice Department May Appeal Convictions The U.S. Justice Department may appeal a federal ruling that overturned the convictions of Oklahoma county commissioners snared in a kickback scandal, officials said Friday. …

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