Oklahomans pay nine different major taxes. Here we explain each of Oklahoma’s major taxes, including:
- a history of the tax;
- who is taxed;
- how the taxes are calculated;
- how much money is collected;
- how the taxes are used, and
- how our taxes compare to similar taxes elsewhere in the country.
Although Oklahoma levies dozens of taxes, the nine largest taxes collectively provide over 90 percent of all revenue collected by state and local governments.
Taxes fall into three broad categories — taxes on what you earn (income taxes), taxes on what you buy (sales and excise taxes), and taxes on what you own (property or wealth taxes). Oklahoma has three income taxes, on individual income, corporate income, and on earnings from the sale of minerals. There are five major sales taxes, including the general sales tax and selective sales taxes on purchases of motor fuel, tobacco, alcohol and motor vehicles. There are two wealth taxes, which are the property tax and a portion of the motor vehicle tax.
The table above shows a wide variation among Oklahoma’s taxes as far as the revenue they generate, how important each is to the overall tax mix, the impact on average Oklahomans, and the rate of growth. We see that:
- Only three taxes — individual income, general sales, and property — make up more than 10 percent of tax revenue. Among the nine major taxes, collections range from $120 million in 2016 from the alcoholic beverage tax, or $31 per person, to over $4.5 billion from the general sales tax, or $1,148 per person.
- During the last ten years, revenue from the alcoholic beverage tax has seen the largest increase, growing at an average rate of 3.2 percent per year.
- At the other end of the spectrum, severance tax revenue for 2016 was 7.5 percent below 2006 revenues, due to both price fluctuations and tax reductions.