Poll shows Oklahomans oppose tax cut plan after hearing the facts

The final House vote on the tax cut bill will likely happen tomorrow. Click here to contact lawmakers and speak out.

A new poll commissioned by OK Policy shows that a strong majority of Oklahomans oppose a plan to cut the state’s top personal income tax rate when they are informed how it would affect taxpayers. A majority of voters was also against cutting funding to education, public safety, and health care in order to pass on the savings as a tax cut.

The national polling firm Global Strategy Group interviewed 601 registered voters in Oklahoma from April 25 to 28, after a leadership deal for a personal income tax cut had been announced. The survey’s margin of error was +/- 4.0 percent. The complete poll results are available here.

While a bare majority of voters say they support an income tax cut in theory (52 percent support and 25 percent oppose the proposal to cut the top personal income tax rate), support plummets when voters hear specifics about the plan. After being informed that the tax cut would reduce revenues for state services by $125 million, just 34 percent supported the plan with 56 percent opposed (including 44 percent strongly opposed).

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Voters believe especially strongly that funding for education, public safety, and public health should not be cut in order to reduce taxes. A huge majority (77 percent) disagreed with the statement that they “would favor cutting funding for Oklahoma’s public health services, including Soonercare, mental health services, and care for children with developmental disabilities so that savings can be passed along to taxpayers in the form of a tax cut.”

Similarly, 77 percent disagreed with “cutting funding for Oklahoma’s public schools so that the savings can be passed along to taxpayers in the form of a tax cut,” while 80 percent disagreed with “cutting funding for Oklahoma’s public safety services, including police, fire and emergency services so that savings can be passed along to taxpayers in the form of a tax cut.”

A strong majority also opposed the tax cut after learning that over 40 percent of Oklahomans would not receive any tax cut at all under the bill, the average reduction for middle-income families would be less than 50 dollars, and the largest tax cuts would go to the wealthiest five percent of Oklahoma households. After hearing these facts, just 31 percent supported the tax cut, with 60 percent opposed. Almost half (47 percent) of Oklahoma voters were strongly opposed after learning that the proposal provides little tax relief for low and middle-income families.

The poll also showed that voters do not believe that more income tax cuts are the best way to improve our state’s economy. When asked what they believed was more important to attract businesses to locate and invest in Oklahoma, just 24 percent of voters chose “low personal income tax rates,” while 68 percent chose “an educated and well trained workforce.”

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Of those surveyed, 52 percent identified themselves as conservative, while 16 percent identified as liberal. The survey included slightly more Republicans than Democrats, with 46 percent identifying as a Republican or Republican-leaning independent, compared to 40 percent who identified themselves as a Democrat or Democratic-leaning independent.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gene Perry joined OK Policy in January 2011. 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. Gene also serves on the board of the Oklahoma Sustainability Network, is a trustee of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors, and has chaired the communications advisory committee for the State Priorities Partnership, a nationwide network of state fiscal policy think tanks. He lives in Tulsa with his wife Kara Joy McKee, who is a Tulsa City Councilor.

7 thoughts on “Poll shows Oklahomans oppose tax cut plan after hearing the facts

  1. this tax cut does not hunt when considering the funding needed to meet our obligations and priorities.

    1. “…considering the funding needed to meet our obligations and priorities.” legislators and the gov do not consider our (we the people) obligations and priorities in their little game plan. mary wants to move up and out (fed is calling, when a repub is elected prez) which allows for tw to move to gov’s office. look at it their way; they’re not completely stupid. they’re in it for themselves. it looks good on paper, even tho the tax cut does nothing for those except the top brackets (top dog $$$ supporters). they figure if they continue educ cuts that we won’t catch on to their little game! problem is, this has been going on the past few years. it’s hard to miss when they’ve been playing this long. problem for us is, how to unseat these boys and girls to get a higher level working/planning working session with results out of OKC. suggestions appreciated!

  2. The proposed tax cut would cost the state roughly $100 million a year. According to the Oklahoma Policy Institute, more than 40 percent of its tax cuts would go to the state’s richest 5 percent of residents while the bottom 60 percent would see just 9 percent of the benefits. The poorest fifth of Oklahoma residents would see no tax cut at all. The poorest Oklahomans pay an average of 10.3 percent of their income in taxes, while the wealthiest 1 percent pay just 4.6 percent of theirs, according to the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy.

    Self serving Lobby-slators? In Oklahoma? Shocking!

    1. really the poor pay taxes here, moron if you earn less thatn 20k you wont pay a dime, y9ou will get it all back. quit spewing leftist rhetoric so they can waste more money than neccesary. i made 81 k last year and got nowhere near paying 8k to this state so bite me on that gave them after my taxes where done about 1500 bucks thats like what about 4% and i am not rich or poor but middle class so take the rhetoric down just a notch, and if you are talking about sales tax we all pay the same

  3. really folks, city government pays the bill on fire, police and the likes not the state. more rhetoric by the left. everyone gets a tax cut based on a percentage which is actually fair, the current tax rate for the top earners in this state is 5.5. if someone makes 400k they pay over 20k in taxes to the state, we had a revolutionary war of 3% so our out of control governments never want to give us our money back it ridiculus for them to act like it is their money. we had schools roads and a military in this country before the 1930’s and the people paid a big fat 0% taxes back then so it can be done if you take the career politicians and all the garbage out of government i bet they can find enough pork to cut to give the tax break im sure they are paying for some piece of crap program that gives somebody 50k a year to study which direction the wind blows so they can figure out what color to paint barns to attract bees.

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