Oklahoma tag fee hike clears committee

| 5/29/2003

The Oklahoma Senate’s major budget-writing committee agreed to raise all vehicle tag fees to help fund the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, The Oklahoman reported.

HB1237, which would raise the fees, was approved by the Senate General Conference Committee on Appropriations May 23 without debate. The bill now heads to the House floor for a vote.

If approved, the $2 increase would take effect Sept. 1 and end Aug. 30, 2005.

The fee increase is expected to raise $6.6 million a year to offset furloughing troopers 23 days each in the fiscal year, the newspaper reported.

The push for the increase accelerated earlier this month after the state Department of Public Safety learned its budget would be cut 5 percent.

In April, Public Safety Commissioner Bob Ricks told a Senate subcommittee the agency would have to furlough troopers and other employees if its budget were cut 5 percent.

Gov. Brad Henry says he hasn’t decided whether he supports the proposal.