STATEMENT: Failure of tax cuts is great outcome for Oklahoma

Oklahoma Policy Institute released the following statement in response to the announcement that there will be no tax cut this session:

The failure of every tax cut proposal that was debated this session is a victory for Oklahoma. The Legislature heeded Oklahomans from all walks of life who have spoken out against income tax cuts. After three straight years of budget cuts that have seriously weakened core services, Oklahomans have stated clearly that their top priorities are restoring funding for education, fixing the child welfare system, repairing our roads and bridges, and making other critical investments that will promote our prosperity and security. We have not made sufficient progress towards these goals, but preserving our largest revenue source leaves us in much better position to tackle our challenges in the years ahead.

The decision to reject tax cuts this year was especially responsible given the uncertainties in the energy industry and the broader state economy. We applaud those leaders who insisted that tax cuts must be paid for and who rejected efforts to tie the hands of future legislators with automatic triggers.

We know, however, that this is just a brief intermission in a long battle over the right tax policy for Oklahoma. Going forward, we must have a more honest and well-informed debate about what we expect from state government, how much our obligations will cost, and how we will pay for them. We need to look with renewed seriousness at our outdated tax system and do away with unnecessary tax preferences. And we must improve tax fairness and not allow middle- and low-income families to shoulder a larger share of the load.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gene Perry worked for OK Policy from January 2011 to June 2019. 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.

One thought on “STATEMENT: Failure of tax cuts is great outcome for Oklahoma

  1. When it comes to tax policy our legislators are no more rational or mature than a three year who picks up a toy, plays with it, throws it down and goes on to the next shiny thing. Republican legislators were quite willing to let the poorest in our state suffer a tax INCREASE in HB 3061 but as soon as some figured out middle to upper income folks, those with incomes between $70K and $90K, would also pay more all hell broke loose. Then of course that tax policy expert Rep Leslie Osborn (R-Yukon) grabbed another toy in the form of HB 3038 and expected the Senate to salute and pass it which of course it didn’t. Why in the world would anybody with any brains listen to anything this genius has to say? Because, obviously, some of them don’t have any brains, at least as it comes to crafting public policy. Let’s hope the new Speaker for next year, TW Shannon of Lawton, will keep her in charge of tax policy. They make a perfect pair. Both also voted to shut down the Oklahoma Education Television Authority, one of Oklahoma’s crown jewels and perhaps the best public television system in America. Of course they wouldn’t know that because all their time is tied up listening to Rush and watching Hannity. Perfect for progress……………..in the 17th century.

    Sincerely,

    Cal Hobson

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