Speaker Shannon to study state agency fees

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon held an interim study today to evaluate how agencies create and increase fees to pay for services provided to Oklahoma citizens.

State and outside experts testified to how fees are evaluated and the process in which they are levied.

While fees are intended to cover the costs of services, government holds a monopoly on many services and the fee amounts paid by citizens and business are at times substantial.

”Oklahoma families and businesses are the ones who have to pay these fees and we must see that they are not overcharged,” said Speaker Shannon, R-Lawton. “This legislature has made great strides to protect Oklahomans from overbearing taxation and lowering the tax burden. We must expand this oversight to state fees. Any fee hike should be justified and not be used to take more money out of working people’s pockets to increase the wealth of state agencies.”

According to Todd Haggerty of the National Conference of State Legislatures, Oklahoma is 16th in the union when it comes to fee reliance for state revenue and has a greater reliance on fees than most states in our region. During the study, Haggerty said it would be to the benefit of Oklahoma to assess its fee structures for future economic development and financial stability.

“It is a priority of this office to create policies that provide core government services to the people while allowing hardworking Oklahomans to hold on to more of their money,” said Speaker Shannon. “Economic freedom for our citizens is essential to the future success of this state.”