March 1st, 2017
As a result of continued declines in state revenues, another cut to Oklahoma’s top income tax rate will not be triggered in 2018. However, unless legislators take action this year, the top income tax cut rate could kick in automatically as early as 2019, well before Oklahoma’s budget will have had a chance to stabilize. After the steep funding cuts of recent years, legislators should halt this tax cut and make sure we have the revenues to do what Oklahomans expect from state services before going ahead with any further tax cuts.
Where Things Stand (as of 3/15)
Two bills that would fully repeal the next income tax cut (SB 170) or delay it for several years (SB 130) passed out of the Senate Appropriations and Budget committee with overwhelming bi-partisan margins.
SB 170 passed the full Senate 39-6 on March 13th (click here to find out how your Senator voted). SB 130 was initially defeated on a vote by the full Senate but then passed 34-8 on a motion to reconsider (click here to find out how your Senator voted). Be sure to thank Senators for their support of these sensible measures to help change our fiscal direction!
What You Can Do
SB 170 and SB 130 will now move to the House of Representatives, where they will likely be assigned to the House Finance Appropriations subcommittee, which is chaired by the House author of SB 170, Rep. Earl Sears (R-Bartlesville).
Please reach out to your Representative and urge them to support SB 170 and SB 130. You can locate your Representative here.
In addition, please contact members of the House Finance subcommittee and encourage them to support measures to halt the next income tax cut:
Rep. Earl Sears, Chair email@example.com (405) 557-7358
Rep. John Montgomery, Vice Chair firstname.lastname@example.org (405) 557-7374
Rep. Carol Bush Carol.Bush@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7359
Rep. Randy McDaniel email@example.com (405) 557-7409
Rep. Marcus McEntire Marcus.McEntire@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7327
Rep. Weldon Watson firstname.lastname@example.org (405) 557-7330
Rep. Claudia Griffith email@example.com (405) 557-7386
Rep. Collin Walke Collin.Walke@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7335
- Adding yet another tax cut is the wrong priority for Oklahoma that will only make it harder to pay competitive wages to teachers and state employees, provide essential health and public safety programs, and meet other core functions of state government.
- Automatic tax cut triggers are undemocratic and fiscally irresponsible. They take power away from citizens and prevent elected officials from managing Oklahoma’s tax system using the best information about our state economy and budget.
- We all know what it takes to create strong communities – good roads, schools, and so forth – but right now our budgets are prioritizing tax breaks instead. We should have no more tax cuts until we have a sound plan in place to fund essential systems.
- Because of how the tax cut legislation was written, the next tax cut could be triggered next year, even if tax collections remain far below pre-recession levels and the state continues to face ongoing budget shortfalls
See our Advocacy Toolkit page for more information and resources.
You can look up your Senator and Representative here, call the House switchboard at 405-521-2711, and call the Senate switchboard at 405-524-0126.