| April 16, 2012

State could save millions at Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission

Following is an excerpt from OCPA’s Proposed State Budget for the Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2013.

With Oklahoma government spending at an all-time high (see chart), the time has come to set priorities and to exercise spending discipline.

The Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission (OHRC) should no longer receive a state appropriation. According to its website, “the Horse Racing Commission encourages agriculture, the breeding of horses, the growth, sustenance and development of live racing, and generates public revenue through the forceful control, regulation, implementation, and enforcement of Commission-licensed horse racing and gaming.” Horse racing is an entertainment-related or specific industry endeavor (as are the Lottery Commission, Wheat Commission, Peanut Commission, Liquefied Petroleum Gas Research, Marketing and Safety Board, Construction Industries Board, and many others that are non-appropriated and entirely user-supported). Horse racing is not a core function of government, and should not be supported by general taxes on all Oklahomans. The OHRC should be operated entirely from fee revenue from participants..

The potential savings from implementing such reforms would be more than $2 million annually.

Submitted each year by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, Inc. to the taxpayers of the State of Oklahoma and their elected Officials, the OCPA “Budget Book” is carefully crafted by Fiscal Policy Director Jonathan Small to help lawmakers set priorities and exercise spending discipline while creating a state budget that respects your family budget. Offering unmatched fiscal policy analysis and recommendations, Small draws on his experiences as a former budget analyst for the Oklahoma Office of State Finance, former fiscal policy analyst and research analyst for the Oklahoma House of Representatives, and former director of government affairs for the Oklahoma Insurance Department to provide perspective on the state budget that you cannot find anywhere else.

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