Claremore Daily Progress

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April 21, 2013

Legislators address city leaders at Chamber breakfast

CLAREMORE —

State Senators and Representatives met with municipal leaders during the Claremore Chamber of Commerce Legislative Breakfast Friday morning at the J.M. Davis Gun Museum. 
Oklahoma public officials in attendance included Sen. Sean Burrage, Rep. Ben Sherrer, Rep. Marty Quinn and Sen. Rick Brinkley. Each spoke on current issues affecting citizens of Rogers County and Oklahoma.
With many legislative negotiations at the moment, Sherrer said he wanted to focus on the positive during Friday’s meeting.
“I think Claremore is an interesting mixture of rural, suburban and agriculture. To represent this area we have to be able to work with the urban elements in our districts,” he said. “One thing that is important to Claremore, Rogers County and into Mayes County is insuring that we continue to maintain a competitive rural Oklahoma.”
He said it is a model made up of infrastructure, tax structure, a sound workers’ compensation system and education.
Sherrer also mentioned Oklahoma’s incentives such as the Quality Jobs Act and the Quality Events Act.
Sherrer said he is pleased to report that the programs are working, bringing jobs and events to communities in Oklahoma.
As for infrastructure, House Bill 1080 is a bill that will redirect an additional 5 percent of motor vehicle collection taxes to help pay for major collector roads, he said. 
“All county commissioners should be happy with that measure.”
Although public officials have somewhat formed an agreement regarding tax structure, Sherrer’s concern is that the pressure of an income tax cut ultimately causes local governments to turn toward a “Texas-sized property tax plan,” resulting in pressure to raise revenues elsewhere.
“In rural Oklahoma a larger property tax burden is harmful,” said Sherrer. “It is much more harmful than the income tax in my opinion. We’re just getting back to 2008 funding levels in a lot of areas, so obviously elected officials know my temperature on any tax cuts at this time.”

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