Scott Cooper's "Food fight!" article in the April 28, 2010, Gazette focused on whether MAPS 3 and other municipal projects would go hungry if the state scrapped the grocery tax, but this article missed the root reason food tax cannot be removed due to the serious economic problems it would create, such as bankrupting many cities and localities in Oklahoma.
I was wondering why the causal issue preventing the eventuality " and even the possibility " of this tax being excused were not given the light of day being as such a tax removal would initiate an economic disaster! Wow! Doesn't that trump our MAPS 3 concerns?
There's an elephant in the room, and while many know of its presence, few directly acknowledge it. Oklahoma has a serious taxation without representation inequity occurring with its antiquated sales tax redistribution.
There is no mystery about why Oklahoma legislators can only talk of rescinding the food sales tax because they know that they cannot act upon it until they change the laws governing sales tax redistribution statewide, thereby, restoring correct economic balance with rightful sales tax revenues (3 percent) being returned to local citizens of cities that don't have the type of location able to attract centralized malls or Walmarts anymore.
Simply put, without oversimplification, is the economic fact that a very large number of Oklahoma cities are surviving on the grocery sales tax generated within their city limits. Remove that tax, and those cities and all their citizens will be faced with a poverty in their coffer: bankruptcy; inability to provide water, sewer, fire and police protection; etc. Now, that is a serious problem, is it not?
Hard to say. I hope this letter acts as an alert prompting the voice of responsive journalism to rectify this "slip through the cracks" with a hard-hitting part two that is as informative as it is instructive, making this article into a valuable series, indeed!
The citizens who are the proactive thinking class of our society, and, I suspect, a significant portion of Gazette readership, are the people who depend upon no-nonsense articles informing them of what other papers are sweeping under the proverbial carpet of silence by not reporting on the issues, or worse yet, deferring to spinning controversial issues into obfuscation and oblivion of misinformation, confusing and misdirecting the populace adroitly!
Keeping this vital economic issue in the dark is irresponsible and socially unconscionable, and it crosses that borderline into evilness because it supports massive continuation of harm with only greed being the benefactor.