| February 15, 2012

Stop Oklahoma taxpayer funds for space travel

Needless to say, space travel is not a core function of Oklahoma state government.

When it was created in 1999, the Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority (OSIDA) was intended to operate entirely on self-generated revenues. Despite this intent, lawmakers have given $7.8 million in taxpayer appropriations to the SIDA since its inception, including the $394,589 given to the agency for FY-2012.

State taxpayer funds for space travel are a perfect example of non-core spending that can be eliminated to help phase out the state’s personal income tax.

Based on some reports, the infrastructure of the SIDA is now used for more than just preparation for space travel, and if the SIDA was freed from state control it could generate enough sources to operate on its own.

Just like the Native American Cultural Education Authority, the SIDA is ripe for non-appropriation. Let’s hope that in 2012 lawmakers keep their focus on taxpayer relief and on funding only core functions of government. This will be accomplished by eliminating waste, inefficiency, and non-core spending. Putting an end to taxpayer funding for the operations of the SIDA and freeing it to succeed based on private support is a great place to start.

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