Bridging the Gap (2): Closing the circle on the state income tax deduction

As Oklahoma faces record budget shortfalls, the threat of massive cuts that would slow the state’s economic recovery and have potentially devastating effects on schools, social services, and public safety loom large. In this context, there is an urgent need… Read more [More...]

Bridging the gap (1): Revisiting the vendor sales tax discount

With state revenue collections seeing their steepest plunge in a generation, Oklahoma is enduring a tough year of state budget cuts that are already having a harmful effect on families, communities and the economy. However, while the severity of this… Read more [More...]

Stop digging! Top income tax rate cut should be suspended until revenues have recovered

Even assuming that we are in the early stages of what will eventually be a robust economic recovery, Oklahoma’s budget crisis is not going to end anytime soon. Revenue collections this year and next are projected to come in 20… Read more [More...]

From the frying pan to the fire: As FY 10 budget battle re-erupts, the real hard work waits

Just when it looked as if the the extended negotiations over how to address FY ’10 budget shortfalls were finally resolved, a new wrinkle emerged this week.  As a means to protest the continued failure to find supplemental funds for… Read more [More...]

A balanced approach to the state budget: How are we doing?

Our friends at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) have put out a new paper addressing the acute fiscal crisis facing states across the nation. As shortfalls reach a level where they are seriously compromising the ability of… Read more [More...]

Revised revenue certification – budget gaps smaller but still perilous

This morning, the State Board of Equalization will meet to certify the revised FY ’11 revenue estimates (we’ve posted the certification packet to our website). The February certification is binding on the Legislature as it develops the FY ’11 budget… Read more [More...]

Saving the Rainy Day Fund won't work

Our friends over at Oklahomans for Responsible Government have a blog post up on the FY ’10 budget agreement expressing dismay over the use of (an unspecified amount of) Rainy Day Funds to help cover this year’s revenue shortfall. They… Read more [More...]

Glimmers of good news in state revenue collections?

This month’s announcement of December General Revenue collections didn’t seem to provide much in the way of good news. Revenues for the month again came in around 30 percent below levels of one year ago (graph) and 30 percent below… Read more [More...]

Why government can't be run more like a business

Last week I attended the Stand Up for Seniors advocacy forum which focused on the impact the state’s worsening economic and fiscal situation is having on programs serving seniors. State Treasurer Scott Meacham was among the elected officials who addressed… Read more [More...]

Is this state fiscal crisis worse than the 1980's? Yes and no…

In writing about the state’s current budget woes, I’ve tended to say that Oklahoma is in the midst of its worst fiscal crisis since the oil bust of the 1980’s. Whether we were around during those days or not, I… Read more [More...]