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Oklahoma Voters Approve Nation’s Toughest Restrictions on New Taxes

March 11, 1992

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Oklahoma voters have approved a constitutional amendment that slaps the tightest restrictions in the nation on lawmakers’ ability to raise taxes.

″It is a shot that will be heard around the United States,″ said Dan Brown of the Oklahoma Taxpayers’ Union.

After four major tax increases in less than a decade, voters on Tuesday approved the measure by 56 percent to 44 percent.

It requires any tax increases passed with less than a three-fourths majority in both houses of the Legislature to be put to voters at the next election.

Some states require a super majority to pass tax bills, or require some taxes to be submitted to a popular vote. But none of those provisions is as far-reaching as the Oklahoma measure.

In other ballot decisions:

-Four City Council members in Pacifica, Calif., were voted out of office in a recall election spurred by their approval of an assessment fee that skirted a law requiring approval by two-thirds of the voters.

The new assessment, passed last year, added $72 a year to the tax bill of a single-family home. The money helps pay for the maintenance of streetlights, trees, parks, swimming pools and municipal piers.

-In Carson, N.D., voters recalled from office three Grant County commissioners for their role in obtaining a $100,000 Energy Department grant to study whether the county had a suitable place for a nuclear waste dump. The commissioners had said the grant as a way to spur the stagnant economy.

-In Madisonville, Ky., backers of a referendum to legalize alcohol sales toasted their victory with champagne, beer and mixed drinks. Residents voted 3,888 to 3,227 to allow sales of alcoholic beverages in the city limits of the western Kentucky town.

But in Russell County in south-central Kentucky, the unofficial returns showed opponents of legalizing liquor with 4,520 votes to 2,288. It was the first time the county voted on the issue since Prohibition. Liquor sales are allowed in Kentucky on a local-option basis.

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