Election 2012: From Taxes to Affirmative Action, All Your State Questions
Channel 8 and KTUL.com give you a run down of which state questions you'll be faced with this election season.
Whether you have or haven't voted, read through these article to get a good sense of what you may or may not be seeing next year.
State Question No. 758: This state question deals with the real property taxes (ad valorem taxes). If this measure were to pass, limits on increases in fair cash value would be changed. Currently, increases are limited to five percent of fair cash value in an taxable year.
Instead, the measure would change the cap on increases to three percent for some properties. It would also apply to homestead exempted properties and to agricultural land.
The measure would amend Section 8B of Article 10 of the State Constitution.
State Question No. 759: This particular measure brings into question three areas of government action: employment, education and contracting.
If this measure were to pass, affirmative action programs would not be allowed. These programs give preferred treatment based on race, color or gender. Discrimination on these bases is also not permitted.
Affirmative action would be permitted in three instances. 1. Gender is a bona fide qualification. 2. Existing court orders and consent degrees requiring preferred treatment will continue and can be followed. 3. When needed to keep or obtain federal funds.
The measure would apply to counties, cities, towns and the state, including its agencies. School districts and state subdivisions are also including in the measure.
State Question No. 762 This measure would remove the governor from the parole process for persons convicted of certain offenses defined as "nonviolent." Instead, the power and authority once under the governor would be transferred to the Pardon and Parole Board.
The Board would grant parole to persons convicted of certain offenses defined as "nonviolent." It is the job of the Legislature to define what offenses are "nonviolent" and can change the definition.
The measure also allows the Board to recommend to the governor parole for persons convicted of certain offenses, most specifically offenses identified by law as crimes for which persons are required to serve not less than 85 percent of their sentence prior to being considered for parole. The Board may not recommend parole for persons required to serve a minimum mandatory period of confinement prior to being eligible.
State Question No. 764 This measure would allow the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to issue bonds, which would be used to provide a reserve fund for the Board.
If approved, the reserve fund would go towards funding certain water resource and sewage treatment programs. It could only be used to pay other bonds and obligations for the funding programs and only issued after other monies and sources are used for repayment.
No more than $300 million worth of bonds could be issued.
The Legislature is also responsible for providing the money to pay for the bonds and methods of issuing them.
State Question No. 765 This measure would abolish the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, the Commission of Human Services and the position of Director of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. Under the Oklahoma Constitution, all three bodies are responsible for the care of the elderly and needy in the state.
Instead, under the new measure the Legislature and the people by initiative petition would retain the power to adopt legislation for these purposes. The Legislature is also authorized to create a department(s) to administer and carry out laws to provide care for the elderly and needy.
State Question No. 766 This measure would exempt all intangible personal property from ad valorem property taxation. Currently, only some intangible personal property from ad valorem property taxation are exempted.
An ad valorem property tax is one that is imposed upon the value of property. Intangible personal property is property whose value is not derived from its physical attributes, but rather from what it represents or evidences. Those that are currently taxed but wouldn't be if the measure were passed include:
Patents, inventions formulas and trade secrets
Licenses, franchise and contracts
Land leases, insurance policies and mineral interests
Trademarks, trade names and brand names
The measure wouldn't go into effect until Jan. 1, 2013.
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