In The Know: Gov. and Speaker now open to delaying tax cut

In The KnowIn The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.

Today you should know that Gov. Fallin and Speaker Shannon have backed off from insisting that cuts to the state’s income tax must take place immediately. GOP lawmakers are pushing for several new tax breaks, including exemptions for helicopter purchases and sporting events.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations in Oklahoma urged the governor to veto HB 1060, a bill they say disrespects the American ideal of religious pluralism. The Senate’s budget chair says money will likely be available to pay for state teacher benefits this year.

Oklahoma Policy Institute announced new Board members, John Feaver of Chickasha and Ann-Clore Duncan of Edmond.  In today’s Policy Note, Governing Magazine interviewed finance experts on the left and the right about the worst tax reform in the last two years – the consensus was Kansas.  The Number of the Day is the number of state troopers on Oklahoma’s highways, the fewest in 22 years.

In The News

Delay of Oklahoma income tax cuts could mean bigger cuts later
Gov. Mary Fallin and House speaker T.W. Shannon backed off Thursday from insisting that any cut in Oklahoma’s personal income tax rate take effect in January.“I want a tax-cut bill on my desk this year,” Fallin said. “Now we can negotiate on when it would be effective, how much of a tax cut it is, what it will include. Those things are all being discussed right now.”

Read more from NewsOK

Tax breaks for helicopter purchases, sporting events, pursued by Oklahoma lawmakers
While Republican legislators in Oklahoma continue wrangling over how to scale back costly tax credits, lawmakers are considering a handful of brand-new tax breaks for things like sporting events, constructing affordable homes and the purchase of helicopters.Three separate tax breaks will be considered Wednesday in the House Appropriations and Budget Committee — including one for the purchase of helicopters that narrowly failed in the same committee just last week.

Read more from NewsOK

CAIR: Oklahoma Governor Asked Not to Sign Anti-Muslim Bill
The bill, HB 1060, is one of dozens of similar pieces of discriminatory and unconstitutional legislation that have been introduced in state legislatures nationwide. These legislative initiatives are promoted by those who seek to marginalize American Muslims and demonize Islam.

Read more from PR Newswire

Oklahoma Senate budget chair expects education boost
A key budget official at the Oklahoma Legislature on Wednesday said money will likely be available this fiscal year to help pay for teacher benefits. Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, said the state should be able to afford about $8.5 million in the current fiscal year to offset the rising cost of health benefits for teachers. Gov. Mary Fallin had proposed the money among other supplemental funding this year. Jolley said the funding figure for this year would likely be settled about the same time that legislators agree to the 2014 budget.

Read more from NewsOK

OK Policy adds John Feaver and Ann-Clore Duncan to Board
“We are greatly honored to have John Feaver and Ann-Clore Duncan join the Board of Oklahoma Policy Institute,” stated Board Chair Vince LoVoi. “John and Ann-Clore continue our tradition of a strong and diverse Board of Directors recognized across the state. John Feaver is one of the most highly respected leaders of higher education in Oklahoma, while Ann-Clore Duncan brings a wealth of experience and passion from the non-profit sector.”

Read more from OKPolicy Blog

Quote of the Day

“By legislating against Muslims, HB 1060 violates the most basic premise of the First Amendment’s religious liberty protections: that the government maintain neutrality regarding the faiths of all Oklahomans.”

Council on American-Islamic Relations-Oklahoma 

Number of the Day


The number of state troopers on Oklahoma’s highways, comparable to the number of troopers in 1991, 22 years ago.

Source: Durant Daily Democrat via OK Policy Blog

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

What’s Wrong with Kansas’ Tax Reform?
At a recent Urban Institute forum, two policy analysts who follow state and local finances were asked a simple question: What’s the worst and best tax bill a state passed this past year? Without hesitation, both Nick Johnson, an economist with the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and Joseph Henchman, a lawyer with the right-leaning Tax Foundation, gave the same answer. Kansas, they said, was the worst.


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