Staff and wire reports
OKLAHOMA CITY — A state press official is expressing concern about bills that would impose a tax on readers of newspapers and magazines and tweak the state’s Open Records Act.
As executive vice president of Oklahoma Press Associa-tion, Mark Thomas keeps track of legislation affecting the public’s right to know about the activities of their government.
Removing the sales tax exemption on newspapers, as proposed in a bill sponsored by Sen. Mike Mazzei, R-Tulsa, comes during a time when newspapers in Oklahoma and nationally are facing tough economic times.
Thomas said there’s a good reason to exempt newspapers from taxation, apart from financial considerations.
“What this bill does is tax people who are trying to read newspapers and magazines to find out what government is doing. We’re opposed to deleting those exemptions,” he said.
He says government, through its paid media staff and Web sites, always provides “a bunch of fluff free,” but people depend on their newspapers to get good information on government actions.
Enid News & Eagle publisher Jeff Funk said taxing newspaper subscriptions is taxing a service, not a product.
“Of course we oppose newspaper subscriptions be-ing singled out as a new source for taxation.
“Newspapers are more of a service than a product. Face it, people don’t purchase the News & Eagle for the paper and ink. They buy it for the information, knowledge, op-inions and shopping advice it contains. So, really, newspapers should remain exempt from sales tax just like the paid advice from your attorney or doctor,” Funk said.
Enid State Rep. Mike Jackson said taxing newspaper subscriptions would be tough to implement.
“When paper’s provide such essential service for our constituents to make sure they know what is happening in the Legislature, the Capitol press corps, as well as the Enid News & Eagle, locally do a good job of keeping people up-to-date and we want to insure that product is affordable,” the Enid Republican said.
Staff and wire reports
- Local and State News
Say what?: Woman arrested after calling EPD to complain her meth was ‘laced’
A 54-year-old Enid woman is facing felony drug charges after allegedly calling police earlier in the week and telling them she thought her methamphetamine was laced with something. Woman to officer: "I'm glad you came."
1st-degree murder suspect will return to county to face charge
Christopher Ryan Sparks was charged July 15 with capital murder, which is punishable by life in prison, life without parole or death. He is accused of killing his live-in girlfriend, Chassidy Michelle Hancock, sometime July 11 in their apartment in Garber.
Woman charged in alleged embezzlement at Quiznos
Virginia ‘Ginnie’ Annette Hunt was charged with embezzlement and is facing up to five years in prison and a fine up to $5,000.
Former Autry superintendent takes CareerTech reins
She will take on her duties as interim director Aug. 15, the date that State Director Robert Sommers’ resignation takes effect.
Former North Enid PD officer arraigned on DUI charge
Edward Lynn Dominic appeared before Special District Judge Brian Lovell, free on a $1,000 recognizance bond.
Officials investigate oil-covered barn owls, dead birds
“These birds got into a saltwater tank that was full. Most of it’s saltwater, but there’s the scum of oil on top of it. That’s the reason why the (Oklahoma) Corporation Commission and federal rules say that those tanks have to be covered." — Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation Major County Game Warden Lt. Frank Huebert
Sex offender facing charges
Ralph William Ballard, 42, was arraigned Thursday on charges of felony sex offender living within 2,000 feet of a day care, failure to register as a sex offender and misdemeanor obstruction.
- City of Enid: Oakwood might experience water outages Friday
- ‘Pack the Bus’ school supply drive begins on Saturday
Water service could be disrupted along Oakwood on Friday
The city of Enid is doing water valve repairs Friday.
- More Local and State News Headlines
- Say what?: Woman arrested after calling EPD to complain her meth was ‘laced’