The matter with Kansas

Earlier this year, while Oklahoma lawmakers were adjourning their legislative session without a final agreement on Governor Fallin’s top priority of cutting the income tax, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback was celebrating his state’s adoption of major income tax changes. Governor… Read more [More...]

Cutting the top income tax rate: Who benefits?

[UPDATE: You can download ITEP’s analysis here.] Yesterday the Senate voted to abolish the state income tax after Sen. Tom Adelson (D-Tulsa) introduced the measure as an amendment to another bill. With public services heavily dependent on income tax and… Read more [More...]

Balancing the state budget: Can we avoid a catastrophe?

The Oklahoman’s Michael McNutt covered the remarks I made last week at a panel on the state budget crisis at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Southwest Business Symposium. My conclusions were rather stark: “We’ve been able to avoid the apocalypse… Read more [More...]

Ambidextrous revenue report: One the one hand…on the other hand…

The latest state revenue collections announced today provided mixed news: State revenue collections in February exceeded the official estimate for the first time since December 2008, but fell short of prior year collections for the same month, State Treasurer Scott… Read more [More...]

Learning from the Crisis (4): Capping and suspending tax breaks

As a result of Oklahoma’s severe budget shortfalls, every state agency and program is absorbing substantial budget cuts that are having a real impact on Oklahoma families and communities. But tax expenditures – the term encompassing the array of exemptions,… Read more [More...]

Short on gas: Low natural gas prices hindering budget turnaround

The continued weakness of natural gas prices and production is the most important factor accounting for Oklahoma’s disappointing revenue collections.  July collections from natural gas production to the General Revenue Fund (GRF) totaled just $22.2 million in July –  a… Read more [More...]

August budget cuts by agency: not quite across-the-board

As a follow-up to our earlier post about the announced cuts to state agencies resulting from the shortfall in July revenue collections, we have prepared a spreadsheet that shows how much of a cut each agency will receive in dollar… Read more [More...]

Starving the Beast: Government in lean times

As we’ve discussed in various blog posts and issue briefs, most state agencies received basically flat funding or were dealt budget cuts of 5 to 7 percent for the new fiscal year beginning July 1st, even as inflation leads to… Read more [More...]

Out of step

A new report by our friends at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows that the approach Oklahoma policymakers are taking to the current fiscal crisis – implementing budget cuts without drawing down reserves or looking at raising revenues… Read more [More...]

Free fall

This being the second Tuesday of the month, the Office of State Finance released the monthly revenue figures today. Unless you were the one who picked “down 21 percent” in the office betting pool, there was little to be happy… Read more [More...]