New report shows the importance of assistance programs to Oklahoma families

The report shows how many Oklahomans need assistance from these programs and how the programs lift many out of poverty. It shows how programs interact to make resources available to families. [More...]

New OK Policy report shows intricate, fragile interconnectedness of public assistance programs for Oklahomans in need

A new report from the Oklahoma Policy Institute — entitled “Plateaus and Cliff Effects in Oklahoma” —  is among the first of its kind to examine how public supports and income interact to impact low-income Oklahomans. [More...]

Oklahoma’s working families need a tax cut. Here’s why

Contrary to talking points from state boosters, Oklahoma is not a low tax state for all Oklahomans. Our regressive tax system ensures that low-income Oklahomans pay more in taxes, as a share of their income, than high-income taxpayers. [More...]

The EITC is an effective poverty-fighting tool, and Congress should make it more effective

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is one of the most effective anti-poverty programs in America. Despite its effectiveness, one in four Oklahoma households that are eligible for the EITC do not claim the credit. The rules setting out who can claim the credit are extensive and challenging to understand, and as a result many people simply don’t bother. Unfortunately, that means these families are not getting the help they very much need to thrive. If Congress were to simplify the rules around the EITC, they could make this already effective anti-poverty tool even more effective. [More...]

This Veterans Day, honor those who served by helping them get ahead

Oklahoma is home to more than 260,000 veterans, and good policy choices like restoring the Oklahoma Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) would help them and their communities be economically stable.  [More...]

Restoring the Earned Income Tax Credit is necessary and overdue

When the Legislature ended Oklahoma’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) refundability in 2016, they reduced an essential tax benefit for over 200,000 Oklahoma families. Prior to that change, if the amount a family received from the EITC was larger than… Read more [More...]

End of Session Round-Up: Missed opportunities to improve financial security

We told you in February that the Legislature would have several opportunities to improve the lives of hard-working Oklahomans and their families. Unfortunately, only a few of these measures passed. [More...]

Restoring the EITC is good for Oklahomans’ health

There is a good chance you know someone struggling to make ends meet. People who struggle to pay for health care have higher risks of heart attacks, obesity, and depression. One way to help Oklahomans meet their basic needs and stay healthy is by restoring an effective and bipartisan anti-poverty measure --the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). [More...]

Restoring the Earned Income Tax Credit is a must this session

In Oklahoma’s tax code, there are multiple tax breaks for high-income individuals and businesses. But just three tax credits are targeted at low-income Oklahomans, and one of those -  the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) – was slashed in 2016 to help balance the books during a severe budget crisis. This cut resulted in more than 200,000 Oklahoma families losing some, or all, of the value of their EITC. Statewide, low and middle-income working families lost nearly $28 million due to the cut. That’s an average of $121 per family, and many low-wage families lost even more. [More...]

Money matters for child development. Healthier finances means a healthier future for children in Oklahoma.

Policies that support low-income families improve the well-being of children. Policymakers have a number of options for improving economic prospects for Oklahoma’s working families and in turn improving health - including their mental health. Two practical changes are to restore the refundability of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and increase the minimum wage. Both of these policy changes would provide more economic stability for families, reducing the risk of childhood trauma and poor mental health outcomes that stem from these adverse experiences. Improving the financial well-being of families creates healthier and economically thriving communities. [More...]