A challenge for the OEA (re: tax credits) McCurtain Daily Gazette

November 4, 2009

This is a one time mailing that teachers like the rest of the public needs to be aware. $100s million of our revenue shortfalls are because of these hidden tax credits. Our state tax commission was recently caught miss reporting the amounts of state income tax credits it has been allowing in secrecy. For 2007 OTC only reported $69 million of $280 million in order to hide the fraud. The operates by OTC allowing unqualifed investment claims. Some $500 million in unearned tax credit has been uncovered since 2006.

Attempts to contact OEA never got past a very polite person who claimed they had no authority and would pass the info on.

One last note: any teachers involved in teaching our kids about our state constitution, should be interested to know state legislators enacted this program to work off the books (outside the budget), freestanding and void of any accountability. That was certainly not allowed under the constitution that I was taught, some years back. This is important because all those taught, what I was taught, are functioning under a false sense of security; and now simple refuse to believe this could be happening. Or, am I wrong about that?

You are not on the regular mailing list for these tax credit fraud mailouts, but would welcome. Just let me know.

A challenge for the OEA McCurtain Daily Gazette
November 1, 2009
By Bruce Willingham

Before you or I ever vote for another tax hike in support of education
in Oklahoma, we should demand that something first be done about the
ridiculous tax credit abuse that's going on in Oklahoma – involving some
of the most prominent names in Oklahoma and with the blessing of the
state Legislature.

It's very similar to the sleazy arrangements between Washington and Wall
Street, but it's Oklahoma's silent scandal – and silent in part because
of our major media's involvement in the game.

Now it has reached literally hundreds of millions of dollars being
sucked from state coffers, even as senior citizens go without meals and
our children's education needs suffer.

The newest example of abuse – supported by both parties in the
Legislature – is a simple version of what can be a very complex tax
credit game.

Electric cars. Sounds nice. But last week I talked with a company
president who may buy several of them, maybe even a whole fleet if it's
legal. Why? Not because he really cares anything about the cars but
because he can reduce his state taxes $9.95 for every dollar he spends
AND can cut his federal taxes by $8.95 for every dollar he spends on an
electric vehicle.

That's nearly $19 off his taxes for every dollar "invested" in buying
electric cars.

He's paying lots of taxes, so why not? If the government sets up this
ridiculous stuff, why shouldn't people take advantage of it?
Financially, it's in their interest to do so.

The problem is, we are bleeding our schools and children, potentially
starving some of our senior citizens, and ensuring our roads will never
be decent, all so that mostly wealthy people and companies can reduce
their tax liability.

I don't blame the ones making use of legal loopholes (as long as they
really are used legally), but those who have created the loopholes (they
are in both parties), the Oklahoma Tax Commission for keeping
"investors'" names secret, and the organizations who don't try to plug
the loopholes, but at the same time are quite willing to raise taxes on
everyone else to fill the financial vacuum.

Among the latter is the Oklahoma Education Association. Are they so
frightened by the wealthy and powerful people involved in this that they
would really rather raise taxes on everyone else – or cut spending for
other needs – to help education funding?

If so, it's very sad for our state and its people. The service OEA could
provide in addressing this abuse would serve all public employees and
the taxpayers – as well as teachers and schoolchildren.

If OEA could simply help turn on the lights statewide, the rats would
quickly run for cover.

There are many elected offices coming up next year. It's your chance to
make your voice heard with those wanting your vote. This will only
become a priority if the people make it one.

Personally, I plan to raise it with every state office seeker who comes
into my office.

If you can stand the increase in blood pressure, you might do some
reading on Some names there may anger and surprise you.

There you will find Oklahoma's version of the cronyism and abuse that
has occurred on Wall Street and in D.C.

Remember the late Leona Helmsley, the billionaire hotel operator and
real estate investor? Her housekeeper famously testified that she once
heard her billionaire boss say, "We don't pay taxes. Only the little
people pay taxes."

Take a look at Nick Baker's web site and you may see why her statement
doesn't just apply to arrogant jerks in New York.

Forget the electric cars. If you pay taxes as I do, it may be time to
break out the torches and go after the monster.

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