It’s been just three years since Oklahoma lawmakers passed a historic $531 million in additional state revenue to support education. On Thursday, the Oklahoma House approved a sweeping set of corporate and individual tax cuts that undoes that historic achievement — and then some.
The House’s decision to approve $540 million in corporate and individual tax cuts is grossly irresponsible. Oklahomans face enormous needs for education, child care, food security, housing, job training, health care, mental health, substance abuse disorder treatment, and so much more — particularly on the heels of a global pandemic and associated recession.
These measures sacrifice needed revenues for those who need assistance the least. More than half of the individual income tax cut would go to Oklahomans with incomes of $100,000 or more. Most of the $350 million corporate tax cut will go to out-of-state corporations.
Oklahomans who are invested in our state’s success should be alarmed by this short-sighted attempt to cut revenue. If signed into law, these tax cuts will inevitably lead to a dangerous loss of service and supports for low-income families still reeling from the pandemic’s impact. Public education, SoonerCare, long-term home-based care, child welfare services, corrections, and other vital services will be cut as a result.
These revenue decisions have been made without discussion — public or otherwise — about how to best serve the needs for Oklahomans, including our most vulnerable friends and neighbors.
The Oklahoma Policy Institute calls on the State Senate to reject the revenue losses created by HB 2041 and HB 2083.
Concerned Oklahomans should contact their Senators to remind them not to cut hard-won state revenue.