Oklahoma taxes have been consistently lower than the nation as a whole over the last 25 years, but they are falling much further below national levels in recent years. Measured as a share of personal income, Oklahoma’s state and local tax level has shown a consistent downward trend since the late 1990s. Taxes were about $10 for every $100 in income we earned in 1998. The 2014 and 2016 levels of $7.91 and $8.09 per $100 respectively, reached a historic low going back to at least 1977, according to data reported by the Tax Policy Center.
The figure shows that while Oklahoma tax levels consistently have been below national averages since 1984, the gap has widened substantially in the last decade. In 1998, Oklahoma taxes were just 26 cents below the national average for each $100 of income; by 2016 the gap had grown to $1.83 per $100 of income. None of Oklahoma’s neighboring states ranked lower than Oklahoma in total state and local taxes as a share of personal income.