New poll sheds light on tax reductions (Norman Transcript)

A new poll reported by the Oklahoma Policy Institute ( should change some minds among Republican legislators about the wisdom of reducing the state’s income tax as proposed by the governor. The poll results are clear and compelling. When people understand the consequences of a state tax reduction, a strong majority oppose such cuts.

Of special note is the overall decline in support for personal income tax reductions over the past year. In 2013, 52 percent of respondents favored tax cuts; by 2014, that percentage had dropped to 46 percent.

Even more telling, when told that only 40 percent of Oklahomans would get tax reductions, while the largest cuts would go to the wealthiest 1 percent of state households, support for cuts plummets to 29 percent.

When asked about a tradeoff between certain vital state services and tax cuts, respondents are adamant in opposition to tax decreases. Large majorities oppose cutting state services such as public safety, education, and health care to pay for tax cuts.

Closer to home, the governor’s proposed 5 percent budget cuts for higher education would undoubtedly harm the University of Oklahoma. The result would surely be higher tuition and/or reductions in critical programs.

Most legislators, especially Republicans, claim they want to follow the wishes of the electorate. Then they should pay close attention to what the public prefers when people understand the consequences of tax cut proposals.

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