“I was 100% behind teachers getting a raise. I was 100% against the way it was accomplished; the largest tax increase in the history of Oklahoma.” Dana Prieto
Dana Prieto is not afraid to ask the question WHY. Why can’t we seem to find a way to raise teachers salaries? WHY do we have to raise sales taxes to fund teachers salaries when our sales tax is already among the highest in the nation? WHY didn’t the Oklahoma Senate listen to the House proposal to raise teachers salaries without raising taxes? Dana believes we can attain this goal of $5,000 dollars per teacher WITHOUT RAISING TAXES.
If the raise is repealed through a veto referendum, there are several temporary solutions until Oklahoma takes the necessary steps for school district reform. TSET funds could be allocated to teachers salaries by a vote of the people. Granting teachers a temporary tax-exempt could be implemented as a good short-term solution. Be correcting mismanagement of government funds, it is estimated that more than $330 million can be put back into the state budget.
Oklahoma’s teacher’s salaries were nearly at the bottom of the pay scale in the country. Raising teacher’s salaries by $5,000 annually put Oklahoma schools in the middle of the pay scale in our country. But. that’s not the end of the story. When the relatively low cost of living in Oklahoma is factored in, that $5,000 raises teacher’s salaries to near the top of the pay scale!
Because of lower oil prices, tax revenue is down. This loss of revenue has affected many areas of government. Have you heard of Ree Drummond? She is better known as the Pioneer Woman. During the economic downturn, ONE woman’s business idea increased the town of Pawhuska’s tax revenue by 33% WITHOUT RAISING TAXES! Her business has revitalized the entire town of Pawhuska, Oklahoma.
George Bush said, “It is the job of government to create an environment where people can create their own wealth.” As we create an environment for businesses to grow, not only do we create jobs but we create tax revenue WITHOUT RAISING TAXES.