Friday, May 13, 2011

Transportation Transparency Act One Step From Gov’s Desk

House lawmakers voted this week to increase public scrutiny of state road revenue.

House Bill 1489, the Taxpayer Transparency Act, passed unanimously today in the Oklahoma House of Representatives and goes to the state Senate for final approval.

Rep. David Brumbaugh
R-Broken Arrow
“Road funding is complicated and most Oklahomans don’t really understand how their taxpayer dollars translate to road projects,” said state Rep. David Brumbaugh, a Broken Arrow Republican who authored the measure. “If this bill becomes law, we will have a system of transparency for citizens that is identifiable, accessible, understandable, and usable through a single state website.”

Brumbaugh noted that over half of some transportation-generated revenue, such as motor vehicle fees, currently goes to non-transportation sources and agencies.

“The fact that road funds have been raided for so many other projects and agencies is not well-known and the public needs to be able to hold lawmakers accountable when fuel taxes and motor vehicle collections go to fund such groups as the Corporation Commission and public education rather than what they are designed for – the maintenance and repair of our roads. Oklahoma citizens need to have complete transparency on how their hard earned dollars are used.”

He noted that the issues of transparency and accountability were significant issues in recent statewide elections and House Bill 1489 advances that cause significantly.
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