Mike Crawford honored as first ever recipient of the Oklahoma Municipal League's President's Gold Award.Click here
Crawford and Associates is committed to keeping Oklahoma municipalities current in regards to state laws affecting municipal finance, budget and accounting. We are significantly involved in the development and amendment of these State Statutes. The following is a summary of certain additions, deletions or changes to Oklahoma State law affecting municipal finance officials organized by the legislative session year.
2011 Legislative Session
HB 1075 Reduces the amount of retainage required on partial payments for competitively bid construction contracts from 5% to 10%. Bill effective 11/1/11.
HB 1366 Allows a governing body to create a municipal energy district authority to coordinate enery-efficient improvements with electric utilities. Bill effective 11/1/11.
HB 1593 Repeals the Municipal employee Collective Bargaining Act that applied to municipalities with population over 35,000. Bill effective 11/1/11.
SB 96 Amends the Public Competitive Bidding Act by increasing from $2,500 to $5,000, the maximum construction contract that may be negotiated with a qualified contractor. Bill effective 11/1/11.
SB 123 and 216 Requires the Oklahoma Tax Commission to strengthen the audit and enforcement of municipal sales tax collection through a variety of efforts and actions, including the establishment of a state task force. Bills effective 8/26/11.
SB 331 Amends the taxpayer lawsuit provisions to remove certain liabilities to municipal officers from their actions and increases the number of registered voters required to initiate such a lawsuit from 10 to 100 or 2.5% of registered voters, whichever is less. Also, if the court determines the claim has merit, the related contract is deemed void and the money or property returned to the municipality. The municipality would then be liable for resident taxpayers reasonable attorney fees and court costs incurred. Bill effective 11/1/11.
SB 347 Provides for the forfeiture of pension benefits by a municipal officer or employee for any convicteion of a felony for bribery, corruption, forgery, perjury, or any other crime related to the duties of his/her office or employment. Bill effective 8/26/11.
SB 708 Requires development impact fees to be based on actual system improvement costs or certian reliable estimates for certain public infrastructure improvements and limits the use of such fees to specific purposes. Bill effective 11/1/11.
2010 Legislative Session
HB 2541 Requires municipal courts to keep confidential all personal identifying information of the parties involved in any case, including credit card numbers, Social Security numbers and bank account numbers. It provides an exception for the Oklahoma Tax Commission for the purpose of collecting municipal court fees. The bill goes into effect on November, 1, 2010.
HB 2653 Creates a nine-member Task Force on Municipal Finance to examine the laws governing municipal finance for all forms of municipal government. It requires the task force to submit a report to the House speaker, Senate president pro tempore and governor by Jan. 31, 2011. It states that the task force is to terminate effective Feb. 1, 2011.
HB 3054 Creates the Municipal Fiscal Impact Act requiring a fiscal impact statement for a bill the legislative committee wishes to consider or approve. This will slow down legislative enactments of unfunded mandates. The bill goes into effect on November 1, 2010.
HB 2556 Establishes a 50-cent prepaid wireless 911 fee to be collected by the seller and remitted to the Oklahoma Tax Commission. It requires the Tax Commission to pay remitted prepaid wireless 911 fees to the governing bodies that the Statewide 911 Advisory Board has certified as eligible to receive the funds, and it requires the commission to develop a formula for allocation based on population. It directs revenue distributed to governing bodies to be used only for services related to 911 emergency wireless telephone services, including automatic number identification and automatic location information services. It prohibits any additional tax, fee, surcharge or other charge on prepaid wireless 911 services from being imposed by the state, any political subdivision or any intergovernmental agency for 911 funding purposes. The bill goes into effect on January 1, 2011.
HB 3313 Increases the amount from $25,000 to $50,000 for contracts for construction, labor, equipment, material or repairs to be awarded by public trusts to the lowest and best competitive bidder. It allows the trust to use funds in an amount exceeding $50,000 to award a contract without public notice or competitive bids if an immediate emergency exists and the use is necessary to avoid loss of life, substantial damage to property or damage to the public peace or safety. It also modifies language to require other construction contracts for the purpose of making any public improvements or constructing or making repairs to any public building for $50,000 or less to be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder by receipt of written bids or awarded on the basis of competitive quotes to the lowest responsible qualified contractor. It allows work to be commenced in accordance with the purchasing policy of the public agency. The bill also modifies language to allow other construction contracts for less than $25,000 to be negotiated with a qualified contractor. The bill goes into effect on November 1, 2010.
HB 2359 Allows municipalities to enforce or augment Oklahoma Tax Commission enforcement of their sales and use taxes through audits performed either directly or through contract with private auditors.
SB 1998 Allows boards of county commissioners to construct, improve, repair or maintain any streets of a municipality with a population of less than 5,000, subject to an agreement between the county and municipal governing bodies, without regard to whether the municipality has passed a sales tax with proceeds earmarked to construct, improve, repair or maintain any of the streets or roadways of the municipality. It clarifies that language pertinent to a municipality with a population of less than 15,000 pertains to a municipality with a population of less than 15,000 and more than 5,000. It allows a board of county commissioners to construct, improve, repair or maintain streets of such a municipality even if it has passed a sales tax. It also allows boards of county commissioners to construct, improve, repair or maintain any of the streets of a municipality if the county has a population in excess of 500,000, regardless of whether the municipality has passed a sales tax with proceeds earmarked for such construction or improvements. The bill went into effect on May 13, 2010.
2009 Legislative Session
HB 1800 - Authorizes municipalities to contract with collection agencies to collect unpaid receivables, including court receivables, and to assess a collection fee not to exceed 35% of the receivable amount referred to the collection agency. The bill also raises the maximum court costs for courts not of record from $25 to $30. Finally, the bill allows municipal courts to collect unpaid fines and costs or final judgments of at least $50 from an individual filing a state income tax return by filing a claim with the Oklahoma Tax Commission.
HB 1753 - Modifies the provisions of the Public Competitive Bidding Act in Title 61 to allow for the governing body to delegate approval of contract change orders of up to 10 percent or $40,000 (whichever is less) to the chief administrative officer or designee on contracts for public improvements under the Public Competitive Bidding Act, as long as the change order is reported to the governing body at its next regularly scheduled meeting.
2008 Legislative Session
SB 1406 – Allows municipalities of less than 5,000 population to employ a part-time city manager and directs the Oklahoma Department of Commerce to develop a financial assistance program for qualifying municipalities – contingent on available funding.
HB 2715 – Raises the daily rate for a person to satisfy an outstanding amount owed by that individual to a municipal court for working on the streets, avenues, areas, and public grounds of the municipality, from a rate of not less than $25 per day to a rate of not less than $50 per day.
HB 2250 – Requires municipal utility providers to make available to the public, consumption rates, bill adjustments, reasons for adjustments, and the names of the persons who authorized the adjustments.
HB 3352 – requires governmental entities sponsoring a Tax Increment Financing project (TIF) to report various data within 30 days of its creation or dissolution to the Oklahoma Tax Commission.
2007 Legislative SessionSB 160 - Amends the conflict of interest provisions of 11 O.S. Section 8-113. This bill changes the exemption from this statute for certain purchases by municipalities with a population of less than 2,500 from related party businesses to being the only business of that type within 5 miles of the municipality rather than the previous 10 miles. In addition, the related party business transactions annual limit has been modified to indicate that the $10,000 annual limit will not apply if the municipality purchases items from the business that are also sold to the regular public in the normal course of business and the price charged to the municipality does not exceed the price charged to the general public. Amendments are effective July 1, 2007.SB 426 - Section 2 of the bill is new legislation dealing with the payroll treatment of certain individuals providing services to a municipality. The new law indicates that an attorney, engineer, or member of a profession who performs duties required or permitted by statute as an attorney, prosecutor, judge, engineer, or other professional for a state or local government pursuant to a retainer or service contract shall be presumed to be an independent contractor and not an employee for all purposes including IRS tax treatment. The new section of the law will be codified as 11 O.S. Section 8-115, and is effective November 1, 2007.
2006 Legislative Session
HB 2796: This legislation provides for an alternative budget approach for municipalities under the Municipal Budget Act. This bill provides for the option of a municipality to adopt a budget by purpose across funds rather than a fund-based budget as required by current law. The bill, initiated by firm Chairman Mike Crawford who also drafted the language, is effective July 1, 2006.
2005 Legislative Session
HB 1670: This legislation provides for an alternative to a full-scope financial statement audit for small municipalities. The bill, the brain child of firm Chairman Mike Crawford who also drafted the language, provides for municipalities with a population less than 2,500 and their public trusts with no other legal or contractual requirement for a financial statement audit to annually engage an accountant to perform an agreed-upon procedures engagement under AICPA attestation standards. The minimum agreed-upon procedures are defined in the legislation. HB 1670 became effective July 1, 2005.
CLICK HERE TO ACCESS REFERENCE GUIDE OF STATE LAWS APPLICABLE TO MUNICIPAL ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE
May 2012, OSCPA Government Conference features numerous firm associates as speakers, including Mike Crawford, Frank Crawford, Marcy Twyman, Brenda Wright, and Chris Pembrook
May 2012, OSCPA publishes Mike Crawford's article on ethical orientations Click here
April 2012, East Central University honors Mike and Frank Crawford with their Alumni Distinguished Service Award
September 2011, OML honors Mike Crawford as first recipient of their President's Gold Award Click here
June 2011, Mike Crawford is recipient of 2011 OSCPA Public Service Award and Silver Pen Award Click here