Yesterday, Senator Patrick Anderson (R-Enid) filed legislation to replace Oklahoma’s income tax with a flat tax of 2.95 percent. Anderson’s bill would do away with Oklahoma’s current tax brackets and eliminate all income tax deductions, credits and exemptions, including credits and exemptions for members of the military, retired seniors, the working poor, and families with children.
Sen. Anderson asserted that his bill “offers tax relief to all Oklahomans, and it has no negative impact on the state budget.” It is mathematically impossible for both of those things to be true. If everyone is paying less taxes, then revenue will drop. If some people are paying less in a revenue neutral plan, then others are paying more.
While Sen. Anderson’s plan may or may not be revenue neutral, it would definitely not offer “tax relief to all Oklahomans.” For example, here’s how it would affect married couples with 2 children:
Like several of the failed tax proposals from last year, the result would be a major tax shift. The wealthiest households would receive a tax cut, paid for by significant tax hikes on those already struggling the most to get by. Moderate-income families with children, seniors, veterans, and military personnel would be especially harmed by the loss of tax credits, deductions, and exemptions.
Sen. Anderson said that seven states currently have a flat tax, but none of these states have eliminated all deductions, credits, and exemptions for vulnerable families, as Anderson is proposing.
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