TULSA - The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, a conservative think tank, has issued its annual proposed budget book , which has recommendations it says could mean lower taxes and more efficient state government.
Total state tax collections, personal income tax collections, and sales tax collections are at all time highs, according to the most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.
But spending is also at an all-time high, and OCPA says it could save the average taxpayer $150 annually if its recommendations were followed by lawmakers.
Here are OCPA's top ideas for reducing wasteful spending:
OCPA Top 10 State Budget Recommendations
1. State Employee Health Insurance Reform – $95 million annually.
2. Reform Medicaid to make it work better for patients, improve health outcomes and save taxpayer dollars – $100 million annually.
3. Eliminate taxpayer funds for operation of non-core agencies such as the horse racing commission, the insurance department, the consumer credit department, NACEA, OETA, etc. – $20 million annually.
4. End earmarks including rodeos, roping contests, local fair, local aquarium, local festivals and more – $8 million annually.
5. Eliminate special earmark in Legislature’s budget - $7 million annually.
6. Performance Evaluation Reform & Hiring Reform – more than $5 millionannually after first year, $41 million annually after 3rd year.
7. Telecommunications Efficiency Audits – $3 million annually.
8. Reduce duplicative conservation district offices – $868,000 annually.
9. Eliminate state funding for attempts at space travel – more than $394,000annually. (More than $8 million in the last 8 years.)
10. Eliminate legislative forced funding for the NCSL – more than$141,000annually. (More than $1 million in the last 8 years.)
For more information on the OCPA proposed budget book or to review the wasteful spending top 10 list, visit the organization's website.