The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

26 October 2004

Shoes for industry, compadre

Mayor Cornett called last night. Or rather, his voice on tape called last night, and as such things go, it was a very professional job, fitting perfectly into the space alloted on my voice recorder. (Cornett's years of broadcasting and video production have obviously served him well.)

Anyway, the Mickster was making a pitch for State Question 707, which extends tax-increment financing beyond a single fiscal year. He pointed out that all the usual municipal and Chamber of Commerce types were solidly behind it, and that its passage would be a Good Thing. Since Cornett's own Oklahoma City is arguably the master of tax-increment financing, albeit most of the current projects occurred before he moved into the middle of the horseshoe, Cornett's arguments could have carried some weight — if he'd actually explained what SQ 707 would do, or if he'd bothered to mention so much as a single project that would benefit from it.

Then again, I rather suspect that explaining what state questions actually do is considered detrimental to their passage. Here's the ballot language:

This measure amends Section 6C of Article 10 of the Oklahoma Constitution. The amendment deals with the use of certain city, town and county taxes and fees. When authorized by law, cities, towns or counties can put these taxes and fees to use in three ways. The first use is specific public investments. The second use is aid in development financing. The third use is an income source for other public bodies in the area.

The Legislature can authorize cities, towns and counties to direct the apportionment of these fees and taxes among or between these uses. The amendment allows these apportionments to be prospective. The amendment permits these apportionments to continue from year to year.

The amendment permits cities, towns and counties to pledge certain taxes and fees beyond the current fiscal year and to pledge certain taxes and fees to repay some debts of other public entities.

Now I wouldn't have expected the Legislature to have written it like this:

This measure allows cities like Oklahoma City to sink millions into the rescue and restoration of the Skirvin Hotel over an extended period, rather than to have to spend it all at once.

But it would have been a pleasant change from the standard legislative boilerplate, which seems to be predicated upon the notion that the electorate is dumb as a post.

Which, come to think of it, it may be: somebody on the daytime version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire yesterday (at the $8,000 level!) was unable to identify the home state of Senator John Kerry, meaning either that this was a very old rerun or that Karl Rove forgot to send out the checks one week.

Posted at 7:22 AM to Soonerland

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Now Now; how could they slip in insidious items if they had to use plain language? Another example: SQ713 provides for a change in the sales tax exemptions - but doesn't say whether they are going to increase or decrease. Considering how they funded "Car Tag Reform" on the backs of the poor I have a pretty good idea of what they plan to do to the poor this time!


Posted by: Robert at 10:47 AM on 26 October 2004

There is a crude saying about how politicians can best be described, in all honesty, as being for the poor. Suffice to say that the ones who are do the same thing as the ones that aren't, but use a certain product from Johnson & Johnson to mitigate the offense.

Posted by: McGehee at 12:43 PM on 26 October 2004