State’s budget problems don’t reflect business climate, official says

House District 13 Rep. Avery Frix said economic development will be a key element when it comes to finding a long-term solution to the state’s budget crisis 영화 미인도.

Frix’s remarks came Wednesday as he summarized the highs and lows of what he described as a “very challenging” and “very different” legislative session during a luncheon sponsored by the Greater Muskogee Manufacturers Alliance 무료 알림음. The Muskogee Republican was joined by Commerce and Tourism Secretary Deby Snodgrass.

“There many things I was unhappy with — things I wish would have been different, processes I think weren’t quite right — and many things I was pleased with and glad to see we got done,” the freshman lawmaker said Download powerpoint fonts. “But overall, I think, the topic of our session was the budget, and you can’t address our budget without addressing economic development.”

Frix cited the importance of the governor having immediate access to funds that can be used to seal a deal with a business considering Oklahoma as a site for relocation or expansion Castle Crasher. He said lawmakers need to do a better job of setting aside money for the Quick Action Closing Fund, which Oklahoma Department of Commerce resources show was tapped once since its creation 카카오인코더.

While Frix linked a budget turnaround to success in the realm of economic development, Snodgrass insisted the state’s budget problems do not reflect the business climate. Regardless of what some might “think of our Legislature,” Snodgrass said “they have done a lot of things that are right.”

Among the things Snodgrass considered as positives are the state’s right-to-work laws, low costs of doing business within the state, and low tax rates. While Snodgrass said there is a need to address the tax structure, she has heard no complaints from business prospects about tax rates.

“I have not had one single company say the taxes are too high,” Snodgrass said. “Their No. 1 worry is our taxes are so low that we can’t pay our teachers, we can’t support our schools, we can’t support our infrastructure.”

Despite those concerns, Snodgrass said new investment during the fiscal year that ended Friday exceeded the state’s $1.2 billion annual goal by more than $7.25 million. She cited “47 wins,” exceeding by three the previous year’s total of 44 — more than 20 percent of what Snodgrass described as “wins” resulted from foreign direct investment.

Snodgrass also offered Muskogee-area manufacturers and economic development professionals several recommendations, many of which already have been implemented. Those recommendations included a greater emphasis on workforce education and training, the acquisition of more land for development at the Port of Muskogee, and improved rail access at the port.

Industrial Development Director Marie Synar said her office was instrumental in the creation of Muskogee Dream It. Do It. The program, initiated in 2015, was designed to inspire youth to pursue manufacturing careers.

Muskogee City-County Port Authority directors also have applied several times for transportation grants for the purpose of improving rail access to the port. Those applications have yet to produce results, prompting Port Director Scott Robinson to recommend recently finding alternative funding to move the project forward.

Synar said port officials have “identified key areas of interest” and as part of the port’s master plan “are actively acquiring properties as they become available.” With regard to marketing, Synar said port officials work closely with Oakley’s Terminal “to promote the assets of the port to bulk shippers and heavy manufacturing prospects.”

“We work very closely with our local industries to identify opportunities to build upon our existing supply chain,” Synar said. This not only helps “further develop our clusters, but also assists our existing companies and lowers their transportation costs.”

Reach D.E. Smoot at (918) 684-2901 or dsmoot@muskogeephoenix.com.