| May 4, 2011

Countdown to the budget deal: Stop subsidizing grandpa’s green fees

Editor’s Note: At $16.6 billion, Oklahoma government spending is at an all-time high. At $26 billion, Oklahoma’s debt load is staggering. Oklahoma voters have installed a center-right government to do something about it. As the legislative session winds down and the FY-2012 budget is finalized, policymakers should keep in mind that their constituents are not interested in “revenue enhancements.” By a 4 to 1 margin, they are interested in smaller government.

Through the years OCPA has recommended several ways to reduce the size and scope of government. For example, as we recommended last year, policymakers should eliminate any state subsidies or appropriations for golf courses. According to the Governors’ budget books, from FY-2001 to FY-2010 lawmakers have appropriated $7.63 million for losses on state golf courses. For FY-2010, appropriations for losses were $1.1 million.

Operating golf courses is not a core function of government. If it is a worthwhile park amenity, user fees will support the costs to operate these courses.

Total savings annually: $1.1 million.

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