In The Know: State will open up tax amnesty later this year

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

Today In The News

State will open up tax amnesty later this year: Under a bill introduced in the closing days of this year’s session to help with the state’s large budget shortfall, Oklahomans with delinquent state taxes will have from Sept. 14 through Nov. 13 to pay or set up a payment plan without owing any penalty or interest. Oklahoma Tax Commission researchers estimate that the amnesty will bring in $35 million over two months [Journal Record].

Oklahoma Supreme Court reaffirms Ten Commandments monument at Capitol must go: The justices denied a request by the Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission to rethink the court’s June 30 decision that the statue’s placement violates the state constitution’s ban on the use of state property for the benefit of religion. Earlier in July, Governor Mary Fallin had said she would keep the monument in place while lawmakers sought a way to block the decision. [Reuters].

Americans with Disabilities Act is a gift to all Americans: On July 26, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the civil rights law for people with disabilities, was signed into law, making discrimination against people with disabilities illegal. It affected all sections of public life and gave people with disabilities the same rights as everyone else. It told society that people with disabilities were not worth less than others [OK Policy Blog].

Survey finds drillers fracking at much shallower depths than widely believed, potentially threatening drinking water:  Stanford University scientists reviewed about 44,000 wells and found shallow fracking occurred at 16 percent of the sites in 27 states, including Oklahoma. As concern has grown about fracking’s potential threat to well water in recent years, industry has sought to reassure the public by saying that fracking occurs at depths far below the water table, but the survey shows there is a significant number of shallow wells [Inside Climate News].

Multiple 4.0 and above magnitude earthquakes shake Oklahoma: The U.S. Geological Survey gave a magnitude 4.5 designation to an earthquake felt around the Tulsa area at 1:12 p.m. Monday. Another earthquake that was recorded at 8:18 p.m. about 3 miles north-northeast of Crescent initially was classified as a magnitude 4.5 but soon downgraded to a 4.1. During the past 30 days, Oklahoma recorded 128 quakes of at least 2.5 magnitude, according to the USGS [Tulsa World].

Gov. Mary Fallin, OG&E flip switch on solar power project at Mustang plant: Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin flipped the ceremonial switch Monday morning on a 2.5 megawatt solar farm at Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co.’s Mustang plant in far western Oklahoma City. The governor said she was impressed on a recent trip to Europe with the number of solar panels in some countries [NewsOK].

Democrats’ open primaries may not apply to presidential race: The Oklahoma State Election Board said Monday it is still researching the question.  The opening of Democratic primaries definitely applies to state, county and local partisan elections [Journal Record].

Seven Oklahomans among the unknown 2016 presidential candidates: According to the website The Green Papers, 589 people have told the Federal Election Commission they are candidates for president of the United States. That includes 143 Republicans, 87 Democrats and 215 independents. And it includes seven Oklahomans [Tulsa World].

Cuba could become big buyer for Oklahoma wheat: If the United States embargo on trade with Cuba is lifted, it has the potential to drastically change Oklahoma’s wheat market. Mark Hodges, a contractor with Plains Grains Inc. and Oklahoma Genetics Inc., predicts that one-third or more of Oklahoma’s wheat production will get to Cuban soil if the embargo is lifted [NewsOK].

Quote of the Day

“I ask, ‘Do you have a box asking if you are a convicted felon?’ Most nod yes, they probably have that. I say the minute that is checked, you are not going to hire those people. They are getting thrown out.”

-BAMA Companies CEO Paula Marshall, who is pushing Oklahoma businesses to become partners with prison reintegration and diversion programs and hire more Oklahomans with felony convictions (Source:

Number of the Day


Number of Oklahomans with one or more disabilities, 15.6 percent of the state’s population.

Source: U.S. Census American Community Survey

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

America’s best program for the poor may be even better than we thought: The Earned Income Tax Credit isn’t super well-known, but it’s one of the best tools the federal government has for fighting poverty. According to the Census Bureau, refundable tax credits like the EITC and the similarly structured Child Tax Credit kept 9.4 million people kept out of poverty in 2013. But a new study suggests that even that is an underestimate [Vox].

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Gene Perry worked for OK Policy from 2011 to 2019. He is a native Oklahoman and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in history and an M.A. in journalism.

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