OCA’s Michael Kelsey Discusses Positions on Policies Impacting Oklahoma Ranchers

Listen to Ron Hays talk with Michael Kelsey about highlights from the recent OCA policy meeting.

At the 2024 Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association’s annual policy meeting, Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster Ron Hays caught up with OCA’s Executive Vice President, Michael Kelsey, and talked about the association’s positions on particular policies.

Kelsey first talked about OCA members’ stance on income taxes.

“We modified our opposition to the removal of the state income tax to be not only against eliminating it but also understanding that if legislators are going to take a quarter percent, if you will, there is a trigger mechanism that they also pass at the same time that would raise the tax back or replace the tax, should something fall, like state revenue or something like that…,” Kelsey said.

Kelsey said there were a few new policies introduced, including one regarding deals with natural asset companies. Kelsey said natural asset companies purchase the ecological value of land.

“If they purchase that, then they have the ability to affect what happens on that land because it may impact, positively or negatively, that greenspace in the air or so forth,” Kelsey said.

While a private landowner has the freedom to do as he or she pleases on their land when it comes to signing agreements with natural asset companies, Kelsey said OCA membership is concerned with the impacts of natural asset companies purchasing the ecological value of state-owned or federally owned land.

“What if they had more value in the greenspace and sold that to an entity that is adversarial to animal agriculture, and not only we might not would we be able to graze that country anymore, but they may have other detrimental effects such as invasive species and so forth…,” Kelsey said.

Kelsey said OCA opposes natural asset companies’ leasing or purchasing rights on federal and state land.

Another big topic of discussion at the meeting was about the county assessor model. Kelsey said there have been many challenges regarding county assessors in the last two or three years.

“There are good county assessors out there; that is not the point,” Kelsey said. “What falls into play is sometimes a county assessor may interpret the law differently from what we believe the law, or we believe the intent of the law was, and it can negatively impact someone such as assessing real property value assessment on cattle.”

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