| May 11, 2012

State could save millions by selling non-core assets

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 state owns many assets that are not related to core functions of government or are not being utilized. These assets can be sold. The state should privatize or sell assets such as the Grand River Dam Authority, the state’s interest in goodwill and surplus value in CompSource, and multiple other assets. These one-time funds should be used to phase out the state’s income tax, or to restore and maintain core assets. Maintaining and operating an insurance company, utility (which could be operated by the private sector or local interests) and other non-core assets is not a proper function of government.

The potential savings from implementing such reforms could be more than $400 million by FY-2015.

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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