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Reps. suggest tax to fund storm shelters in Okla. schools

OKLAHOMA CITY – The discussion about finding ways to pay for storm shelters in Oklahoma schools continues.

Two Democratic legislators announced an idea they have to fund them Wednesday.

Representatives Joe Dorman and Richard Morsett announced their efforts to use a franchise tax to fund a bond issue.

“We are wanting to propose a $500 million bond issue, with that debt service to be funded by the current franchise tax which has been reinstated because of changes within the law,” Rep. Joe Dorman said, (D) House District 65.

He said that will bring in enough revenue to build storm shelters in all Oklahoma schools.

To get the franchise tax would require two things; a change in the Oklahoma constitution allowing the exception for the bond issue and at least 160,000 signatures to get it on the ballot.

One mother whose son died at Plaza Towers elementary in the Moore tornado said she supports this plan.

“My son is Kyle was only 8 years old,” Mikki Davis said. “My daughter was pulled from the rubble of a school bathroom at Plaza Towers but Kyle did not survive. The last words we said to each other that morning as he went to school was that ‘I love you.’ Never did I know that would be our last to each other. I have always thought kids were safer at a school but I’m here to assure you that they are not at this point.”

This is just one way that has been suggested to bring in money.

News Channel 4 has covered some ideas Republican legislators have also introduced, like raising money from the private sector which doesn’t involve raising taxes.

Representatives Mark Mcbride and Jon Echols have raised about $2 million that way.