STATEMENT: Striking down of tax cut offers a lifeline to lawmakers

Oklahoma Policy Institute released the following statement in response to the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s decision to strike down HB 2032, the income tax cut and capitol repairs law, because it violates the single subject rule in Oklahoma’s Constitution:

The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down misguided income tax cuts offers lawmakers a much needed lifeline to get our budget back into balance.┬áIn recent months, it has become more clear that another tax cut is the wrong priority when state revenues are not meeting projections, the state share of health costs is growing, prisons remain critically understaffed, and education funding remains stuck far below 2008 levels. Lawmakers should use this chance to recognize that we can’t maintain our prosperity without paying for the services that citizens and businesses need.

The Oklahoma Tax Commission had estimated that the tax cut would cost $54.1 million in FY 2015 and $237 million in FY 2016 if an additional tax cut trigger went into effect. At the same time, it would have done little to nothing for average Oklahomans, with a middle-income household paying just $30 less in taxes and 41 percent of Oklahomans getting no tax cut at all.

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Gene Perry worked for OK Policy from 2011 to 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.

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