Rep. David Dank says his subcommittee will not hear bills to spend money the state does not have
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Published: 10-Feb-2015

OKLAHOMA CITY -- State Representative David Dank, R-Oklahoma City, on Monday (February 9) said the Subcommittee on Revenue and Taxation he chairs will decline to hold hearings on any measures that have a negative fiscal impact on the state budget.

“It is time to draw a line in the sand and say no more,” Dank said. “Year after year we hear that if we’ll just give in this year and play fast and loose with the taxpayers’ money we will get around to enacting reforms to offset that spending next year. Some of us have been waiting for next year for a decade. Well, this is next year. The spigot is now turned off.”

Dank said he will decline to hear any bill that would enact any new tax credits or exemptions or take funds from one area of the budget to plug a hole in another area.

In a release sent to CapitolBeatOK.com and other news organizations, Rep. Dank asked, “How can we continue to play this shell game every year and look the taxpayers in the eye and claim we are being responsible?”

He continued, “Proposals to give away more state funds or to siphon money from one pocket to another will be dead on arrival in my subcommittee this session.”

Dank said he will even refuse to hold hearings on a bill he has sponsored in the past to exempt hearing aids from sales taxes for seniors.

“If that is going to cost a million bucks, those are dollars that were previously used to fund some other area of government,” he said. “This is robbing Peter to pay Paul and leaving both of them broke in the end.”

Dank said he would resist spending any additional funds until the state enacts what he called “real reform” of “widely abused” tax credits and exemptions and begins the work of reforming the convoluted and wasteful structure of state government.

“We reauthorized the tax credits for wind farms at a projected cost of $290 million by 2018,” he said. “We gave away what will amount to $40 million a year to housing developers by 2026. 

We dumped another $50 million in subsidies into the pot for movie producers, but the taxpayers are still being asked to make up the difference to perform such truly important functions as public safety and education.

“This may not be popular with some legislators and most lobbyists, but someone out here has to say no more to this irresponsible funding of state government,” he said.

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