Oklahoma’s Senate Finance Committee was right Tuesday to reject a proposal to tax newspapers and magazines.
Sen. Jim Wilson, D-Tahlequah, had authored Senate Bill 1098 to end the state’s sales tax exemption on these publications.
Wilson contended such a step would bring in $17 million to fund bonuses the state promised — but has not delivered — to National Board Certified Teachers. The Oklahoma Press Association, representing hometown newspapers across the state including this one, questioned the accuracy of Wilson’s $17 million estimate.
Whatever the potential revenue from such a tax, the Senate Finance Committee has killed the bill. And rightly so.
The state needs to fulfill its $5,000 promise to our National Board Certified Teachers who worked hard to earn that designation. When the state of Oklahoma pays, we all — as taxpayers — pay. It is wrong to saddle one segment of the population, i.e. newspaper readers, with this responsibility.
And the idea of the government dipping its hand into an entity that is supposed to be watching the government makes us uneasy. It should you, too.