Michael A. (Mike) Crawford

Michael A. (Mike) Crawford is Chairman of Crawford & Associates

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2010 Legislative Session State Laws Update

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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.

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Michael A. (Mike) Crawford is Chairman of Crawford & Associates and has over 37 years of experience working in the practice area of state and local government accounting, auditing and consulting. He is currently retired from active practice with the firm, but continues to serve as a consultant and advisor to the firm and its clients and as an award-winning author and frequent public speaker.


 

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