Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Educators Support Bellmon's Tax Plan

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Educators Support Bellmon's Tax Plan

Article excerpt

Support for Gov. Henry Bellmon's education tax proposal was announced jointly Monday by the Oklahoma Education Association, the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration and the Oklahoma School Boards Association.

At a news conference, leaders of the the groups praised Bellmon for his "boldness and willingness to address school finance problems that have plagued Oklahoma education for years."

Bellmon last week said he would ask a special session of the Legislature which convenes Aug. 14 to consider a proposal to eliminate property, or ad valorem, taxes on residential and commercial property valued up to $100,000. The taxes would be replaced with a 1.9 percent school tax on gross receipts, plus a 15 percent individual and corporate income tax surcharge.

The package is estimated to raise $245 million in new school revenue.

Margaret Buvinger, school boards association president, said the governor was "getting the show on the road and at least giving the Legislature something to work with."

Buvinger said the proposal has very wide-ranging ramifications. Much detailed work has gone into it and there are many questions to answer, she said.

"Probably one reason it hasn't received as much enthusiasm from a lot of the public is that it's a big change and a radical difference," she said.

Kyle Dahlem, education association president, said of the $504 million in local school funding in Oklahoma for the 1987-88 school year, about $450 million probably came from ad valorem taxes.

In addition to the projected $245 million in new school revenues the first year, Dahlem said she has seen figures that estimate second-year growth at $152 million. …

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