HD7

Rep.  Ben Loring

Republican Party Platform Sets the Standards

The higher the score the more conservative the legislator


2018 RINO Score of 11

Got all 17 votes wrong

Towns in district include: Afton, Cardin, Cayuga, Commerce, Copeland, Dodge, Dotyville, Fairland, Grove, Miami, Narcissa, North Miami, Peoria, Picher, Quapaw, Wyandotte

Zip codes in district include:  74331, 74333, 74339, 74343, 74344, 74354, 74358, 74360, 74363, 74370

Link to District map

Representative Ben Loring did a terrible job representing his voters this year. He got  12  of the votes wrong that put him to be at 84th spot from the top and 17th spot from the bottom of the index list.  Here is his contact info, please contact his and voice your opinion on his voting record.

Ben.Loring@okhouse.gov

Legislative Assistant:

Louise Aldridge 

(405) 557-7399

Below is a list of the bills where Ben Loring made bad votes according to the Republican Party. Below are  the special sessions where he voted wrong on all the tax increases.

 

HB 1010 xx Teacher tax, hikes on fuel, cigarettes and other tobacco products, and a GPT increase (Gross Production Tax) N is conservative, Y is liberal. This bill was one of the worst tax increases due to the extortion that was involved and it was the single largest tax increase in state history.

Had the CLO money been used as designed by the federal government and the state constitution there would have been 100 million dollars a year sent to education every year since Fallin came into office. Had audits been conducted to find the waste and inefficiencies to prove that more money was needed perhaps these tax hikes would have been needed. Had the simple bill that would have mandated Oklahoma superintendents get their administrative costs down to the national average there would have been twice as much money available for teacher raises without raising taxes. Worse, most of the money is diverted in the second year, leaving the raises unfunded, allowing the legislators to crank up another half billion in new taxes next year.

 

 

HB 1011xx deductions cap at $17.000 N is conservative, Y is liberal. Another of the teacher tax increases, a stripping away of tax deductions after the Trump tax bill increased working class and middle class deductions. All of the reasons above are also valid plus the simple fact of going in the face of the popularly elected President who understands that taxes that are too high do not work.

HB 1019xx Out of state sales tax collection N is conservative, Y is liberal. Another teacher tax and an unconstitutional one. Our federal constitution doesn’t allow states to tax interstate commerce and the courts have long ruled that a nexis, a physical location, must be present in a state if sales tax is collected. This is the so called Amazon tax for this year, an attempt to force associated independent advertisers on Amazon to collect and remit Oklahoma sales tax. Amazon might well have a physical location in the state and might need to comply with the law on sales tax but these non Amazon shipped products are stored in the seller’s warehouses and thus there is no Oklahoma connection. This law will be struck down if challenged.

HB 1023xx Teacher pay raise N is conservative, Y is liberal. The cause of these teacher raise taxes. Extortion was used, the kids and parents were used, and the strike went on even after the huge tax increases and raises were passed into law. The teacher unions are really using the situation to press for more Democrats being elected. Legislators that angered their own Republican base by voting for these massive taxes then got harassed and threatened at the Capitol for two weeks. Extortion has no place in politics, especially from state employees supported with tax dollars.

HB 1024 xx State worker pay increase N is conservative, Y is liberal. The state workers do need raises, we agree on that much. But again the extortion used was beyond the pale. And many state workers like the ones in Preston Doerlinger’s old empire are already raking in huge salaries. And again the taxes for these raises were already diverted for the second year before the teacher strike even fizzled out. If the wages are too low, there will be a shortage of sate workers and that isn’t the case. Wages do need looked at but it needs to be in a good budget year and inefficiencies and waste have to be trimmed out first after the audits are completed by outside auditors. Then we will support raises.

HB 1026Xx School support staff pay increase N is conservative, Y is liberal. Ditto, no funding for the second year, not the state’s responsibility to give raises to employees of the local school systems. Compared to teachers these support staff earn very little but there are also many that are making nearly six figures. Plus the amount of non teachers had risen three times the ratio of student increase and too much money is being wasted on stupid things like liberal counselors and advisers that have no place indoctrinating our kids.

 

HB 2756 CNG tax credit extension N is conservative, Y is liberal. Once this kind of incentive might have made sense but no more. These tax credits are simply corporate welfare. CNG is a fraction of gasoline price and that alone is incentive enough for car owners to convert or purchase CNG vehicles.

HB 2950 Prohibits sale of 4 gauge wire N is conservative, Y is liberal. Like the air conditioner coils and condensers that were outlawed for scrap sales in the past, this is simply a private industry wanting to outlaw the sale of large wire to metal recycling companies Yes there are thieves, my own building was hit a few years back and $50.00 worth of copper was stolen along with a dozen aluminum services ripped out too before the idiots realized it wasn’t copper. Around $5000 in damage in all. But that doesn’t mean the solution is to penalize honest men and put the large wire scrap into the hands of the electricians who are the only ones now that can dispose of the wire. Electrician makes more money off the job, life gets more complicated, and a lot of wire will now wind up in landfills to join the aluminum and copper condensers and coils that are now being dumped into landfills.

HB 3375 dice and roulette gambling extension N is conservative, Y is liberal. Gambling is good for whoever owns the casinos, not good for society at large. This is corporate welfare given to the Indian tribes and not allowed to other citizens. And the state gets a tiny fraction of the winnings while it deals with the embezzlement and crime caused by the gambling addicted. Families have less money for raising kids or retirement or building a business. Should gambling be illegal? Perhaps not, but we shouldn’t be making money off it and encouraging other government entities like the tribes to strip more cash away from society.

HB 3407 Mandates OKIE call before digging on property N is conservative, Y is liberal. Whose land is it anyway? It makes sense to encourage landowners and contractors to call OKIE to flag existing infrastructure underground before digging but most landowners are going to know if there is anything there. Digging a pond out in the back 40 is no risk to utilities. Those that refuse to check are already responsible for any damage so why increase the nanny state?

HB 3439 DNA collection misdemeanors N is conservative, Y is liberal. Abhorrent is the best description for this ratcheting up of the police state. Serious crimes like felonies, okay, that is a compromise, but once your DNA is in the hands of the state and law enforcement agencies it can be used to frame people, even solve old cases like the old murder case in the news where the mass murderer cop in San Francisco was caught when a relative sent in some DNA to a private DNA company. That was a good outcome, no one will deny that, but how many false accusations and frame jobs can be done once enough of society has their DNA on file? An unscrupulous prosecutor or cop can troll someone’s trash can to find enough DNA to plant or to slip into the evidence chain.

SB 888 end wind tax credits Y is conservative, N is liberal. Note that this is the only Yes vote that is good on the index. This bill would have made wind tax credits non refundable if the company didn’t have enough tax burden to use up the tax credits. One would understand the use of tax credits if the public was sure that the recipient was pumping other tax dollars into the state. Kind of like the Earned Income tax credits that are no non refundable, if you aren’t paying taxes in you don’t get the credits to reduce your tax bill. Common sense. But the corporate welfare crowd wants to sell these credits, indeed the entire wind industry wouldn’t be profitable unless there wasn’t hundreds of millions of dollars in tax credits to sell to generate more profit. As it is, a company can just walk up to the State Treasurer’s office and present a bill for a hundred million dollars and it has to be paid even if no one saw it coming and it wasn’t budgeted that year. 

 

SB 923 expansion of the Quality Jobs Program N is conservative, Y is liberal. A long time corporate welfare tax credit that does little to generate new jobs. Companies are going to locate where labor is available, where cheap land and buildings are to be had, not because they get a 5% tax credit on their payroll costs. States try to outbid each other and companies wind up chasing tax credits only to leave the state once the tax credits dry up.

 

SB 1252 Events incentive act N is conservative, Y is liberal. Another corporate welfare scheme that does nothing to bring events to the state. Promoters go where the customers or fans of the event are. We had plenty of shows, games, and events before this bill was passed and all it does is drain tax coffers.

 

SB 1287 Spreading rumors bill N is conservative, Y is liberal. An ?anti bullying bill”. Really? It is now illegal to spread rumors? Do we not have slander laws already? Does a bit of bullying in school ruin a child for life or does it sometimes teach valuable lessons? And people wonder why we are producing a snowflake generation or a series of snowflake generations…

 

SB 1584 Conservation bond debt N is conservative, Y is liberal. Bonds are always bad business because the money is paid back at high interest while the bond holders borrow cheap commercial money to invest in the bonds and the bond selling companies rake in huge commissions. Many times the bonds are not available to the working class or middle class but reserved for favorite customers. If the state needs a building it can afford to save up and pay cash. The Oklahoma Constitution says “No state debt” and that was the case until the late eighties when the Supreme Court traded a favorable bond ruling in exchange for millions of dollars put into their pension plan.

 

 

 

Rep.  Ben Loring

Republican Party Platform Sets the Standards

The higher the score the more conservative the legislator


2017 RINO Score of 37.5

Got all 12 votes wrong

Representative Ben Loring did a terrible job representing his voters this year. He got  12  of the votes wrong that put him to be at 40th spot from the top and 61st spot from the bottom of the index list.  Here is his contact info, please contact his and voice your opinion on his voting record.

Ben.Loring@okhouse.gov

Legislative Assistant:

Louise Aldridge 

(405) 557-7399

HB 1427 allows the Oklahoma Tax Commission to create a new department and hire outside auditors to attempt to collect out of state sales tax payments. This appears to be an attempt to harass out of state vendors with Oklahoma customers with the idea of forcing these out of state vendors to collect sales tax or use tax. If the out of state vendors comply with the auditors and hand over a list of shipments into Oklahoma that would cost Oklahoma companies billions of dollars in new taxes.

HB 1837 changes the lottery by eliminating the 35% contribution to the Oklahoma Education Lottery Trust Fund and replaces it with transferring $50 million dollars off the top. While the administrative costs are also limited to 3% it appears that the bulk of this money being skimmed off will go to advertisers and vendors of gaming systems.

 

 HB 1845 is the REAL ID bill that forces Oklahoma into the federal identification card system. The program is a privacy nightmare and unneeded. Worse, those promoting the scheme have long lied about the consequences of not having Oklahoma drivers licenses REAL ID compliant, claiming that you couldn’t get on an airplane which is not true. It is also a fee increase, adding $5.00 to the license fee, like the $5.00 they added to the tags last year, with the money siphoned off into Public Safety and two dollars to the tag agents. Worse, this bill guts the state prohibition on REAL ID passed about eight to ten years ago. There is a clause stating that the state won’t share biometric data of its citizen but there is an out for data sharing required by the feds.

HB 2131 is a new tax credit scheme that gives away 10% of sales tax collected for companies with under one million dollars of new investment in a tourist destination, 25% for those companies with over a million dollars new investment, with the annual limit set at $15 million dollars per year drained out of the state treasury. And this is for investment that is going to be made anyway.

HB 2367 removes a 1% rebate on sales taxes paid that has always been used to pay the sales tax permit holders for the cost of keeping track of the taxes paid and for filing the report. Seems a pretty good deal, forcing businesses to be a tax collector for the state in return for a paltry one percent. For the vast majority of permit holders the one percent doesn’t even come close to covering the time to file the reports much less track the actual taxes. For Wal Mart or Amazon, that is a different story. Rather than change the $2500.00 monthly cap the permit holder refunded the politicians just took it all. So while this costs Wal Mart and Amazon $2500.00 it will cost the other businesses around $14 million dollars per year. The discount was also given only when the payment was paid on time or ahead of time, leading to more prompt payments form the sales tax permit holders. For a small business that sold $10,000.00 per month in taxable sales we were talking about $8.38 in discount. That wouldn’t pay the time it took to fill out the form, write the check, and mail it in.

 

 

 

HB 2372 is the $1.50 per pack cigarette tax that funnels 50 percent to the Health Care Authority Enhancement Fund; 23 percent to the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Enhancement Fund; 14.5 percent to the Human Services Enhancement Fund; 5.4 percent to the Oklahoma State University Medical Authority Enhancement Fund; and 2.7 percent to the Health Department Enhancement Fund. This generates $215 million dollars in new taxes.

HB 2387 creates new state debt, $45 million dollars in bonds, for the Office of Juvenile affairs. Many millions of dollars will be paid out in bond sale fees and high interest rates, mainly to people that borrowed long term at a few percent interest and turn around and quadruple that in a safe investment to the state. You and I won’t be offered these bonds as investments, only the most connected.

HB 2389 creates new state debt, $58.5 million dollars in bonds for a new Oklahoma State Department of Health building. Many millions of dollars will be paid out in bond sale fees and high interest rates, mainly to people that borrowed long term at a few percent interest and turn around and quadruple that in a safe investment to the state. You and I won’t be offered these bonds as investments, only the most connected.

 

 

 

 

 

HB 2403 set a new limit on itemized deductions, limiting deductions from taxable income to $1,700 per year for tax years 2017, 2018, and 2019. If you have more deductions for medical bills, interest, or other legal deductions you simply cannot use them. Only charitable donations are excluded.

Now with the Trump tax cuts cutting our federal taxes our Oklahoma taxes will rise.

 

SB 120 extends the time that three aerospace tax credits can be claimed. The three tax credit schemes allow employers to get a 50% tax credit off tuition costs they pay to employees for four years, a $12,500.00 tax credit for wages paid to employees at the rate of 10% for state graduates and 5% for out of state graduates, and a five year long $5000.00 tax credit for employees. All this for jobs that would have come to Oklahoma anyway to be near Tinker. These tax credits are set to expire next year but this measure extends them till 2026.

SB 170 removes income tax rate reduction formulas that automatically reduce the income tax rate if state tax revenue hits a certain level.

SB 786 Another soft on crime bill that reduces the penalty for first, second, and third degree burglary. It removes a two year minimum sentence and also requires that someone be present in the building before a burglary is a first degree burglary crime. The idea is to lessen the number of inmates in prison.

 

 

 2017 Special Session Index Score  20

He got 4  out of five votes wrong.

Oklahoma was subjected to the cost of two special elections late in 2017 in an effort to raise taxes to cover the tax increases that were knocked down by the Supreme Court in the summer of 2017.  There weren’t a lot of bills heard, no bills to cut waste or make government more efficient were considered thanks to a veto threat by Gov. Mary Fallin.  The  tax increase votes that this legislator voted for are below:

 

 

HB 1054X, which taxed cigarettes, tobacco, and added new fuel taxes.

That one nearly passed, 71 to 27,

with 76 votes needed to raise taxes thanks to SQ 640’s protections. One has to know that this was once again another log rolling bill that would have been challenged had it passed.

 

HB 1085X, which was another Gross Production Tax increase from 2% to 4% and/or a change in exemption dates. It failed on a

64 to 31 vote, needing 76 to pass. We at STP are ambivalent on the GPT increases for several reasons. First some change needs done because the old vertical well businesses are penalized while the newer horizontal wells, fracking, are given massive tax exemptions. Yet raising taxes of any kind before the waste is looked at and agency performance audits are done overrides the imbalance in taxation and the resulting unfairness. The fact is that the donor class are terrified over SQ 795 vote coming up in November, they see their bribe money paid to legislators going down the drain if that thing passes.

 

 

 

 

Picture of the special session RINO Index score

 

SQ 795 puts an additional 5% GPT tax on oil wells in the first 36 months

, evading the bought and paid for tax evasion credits that the donor classes paid to have passed in earlier years. The money will go to teacher pay increases and education. In the end HB 1085X was a vote to head off SQ 795 passing by passing slightly higher taxes for the oil industry and as it would be simple legislation it could later be overturned and rolled back to the old corporate welfare. Not so with the state question.

HB 1033XX was the notorious Step On Oklahoma Plan, fronted by the same old suspects in the donor class and the Oklahoman and other liberal media. Presented as a bunch of newly energized disinterested businessmen that spontaneously put together a plan to “save” the state from the incompetent legislature (whom they had bribed to raise taxes illegally) the plan and the “heroes” and selfless men and women that were pushing the plan were constantly paraded on the liberal media.

HB 1033X went down 63 to 35 with 76 votes needed to pass.

The bill would have place nearly a half billion dollars in new and increased tobacco taxes despite the hundreds of millions of TSET money that was being wasted each year on “drink more water” ads and bike trails. TSET has always been corporate welfare and a place for politicians to find work after terming out of office.

 
HB 1020XX was one of the only bills where a Yes vote was good as it was a small cut to state agencies to balance the budget. The Democrats messed up voting against this but that is their tactics, to try to rally their base by obstructing. Kind of weird, our allies in stopping the tax increases but they are against balancing the budget with some tiny cuts.