Weekly Wonk: Tribes should have been consulted upfront on sharing tag data | #OKLeg undermines its own transparency efforts | More

What’s up this week at Oklahoma Policy Institute? The Weekly Wonk shares our most recent publications and other resources to help you stay informed about Oklahoma. Numbers of the Day and Policy Notes are from our daily news briefing, In The Know. Click here to subscribe to In The Know.

This Week from OK Policy

Policy Matters: Tribes should have been consulted on sharing tag data. They weren’t.: Oklahoma should work with the 38 federally recognized Tribal nations within its borders as sovereign nations, fully recognizing Tribal rights to negotiate with the state as equals. However, a recent bill heard in the House’s Public Safety Committee shows a continued disconnect in the relations between Tribes and the state. [Shiloh Kantz / Journal Record]

Upcoming Opportunities


Thursday, April 24, 2024
Second Floor Rotunda | Oklahoma State Capitol
2300 N Lincoln Blvd. | Oklahoma City
Check-in begins at 9:00 a.m. | Event starts at 10:00 a.m.

Join advocates and community activists from all across the state on Thursday, April 25, for our 2024 Day of Action at the State Capitol, hosted by OK Policy and Together Oklahoma. Tap into your political power and work toward changes that make our communities safer, healthier, and more equitable. [Learn More] | [Register]






OK Policy’s Oklahoma Summer Policy Institute (SPI) brings together highly-qualified college students, recent graduates, and new policy professionals for a four-day learning experience that informs participants about Oklahoma’s policy landscape and provides tools and resources to create change in our state. [Learn More]

SPI is a four-day program held during two summer sessions: 

  • Norman: June 27-28, 2024
  • Tulsa: July 25-26, 2024


Weekly What’s That

Corporate Income Tax

Oklahoma’s corporate income tax is set at a flat rate levied upon the taxable income of every corporation doing business within the state or deriving income from business within the state. The rate has historically been set at 6 percent, but under HB 2960, approved in the 2021 legislative session, the rate was lowered to 4 percent as of January 1, 2022. The tax is based on a three-part formula that looks at the portions of a company’s sales, property, and payroll that is based in Oklahoma.

The corporate income tax generated $861.1 million in Fiscal Year 2022, which was 7.2 percent of total state tax collections and a sharp increase compared to previous years. The corporate income tax tends to be, along with the gross production tax, one of the state’s most volatile tax sources, fluctuating dramatically from year to year and often coming in far above or below certified estimates. This volatility has been explained by changes in corporate tax laws, the use of corporate tax breaks, and the outsized impact that a small number of corporations can have on total collections. Under a 2016 law, a portion of corporate income tax collections are allocated to the Revenue Stabilization Fund in years where collections are projected to exceed their five-year average.

The corporate income tax has generated a declining share of total tax revenue over time as more businesses incorporate as S-Corps and LLCs (which report their income on the personal income tax return of shareholders) and as companies find ways to take advantage of loopholes and tax breaks to limit their corporate tax liability.

Look up more key terms to understand Oklahoma politics and government here.

Quote of the Week

“Lawmakers need to decide what Oklahomans expect in public services and fund those. The key is knowing the truth about the state’s needs. So often, the honest number remains hidden among political agendas or not known at all.”

– Tulsa World editorial, addressing the need for Oklahoma elected officials to have robust conversations about the costs to adequately pay for vital state services. [Editorial / Tulsa World]

Editorial of the Week

Editorial, Tulsa World: Oklahoma lawmakers now desperate enough to start shucking bills

Oklahoma legislators say they want transparent government, until they don’t want anyone tracking what they’re doing. Then they suspend the rules and hide their work.

The Legislature is at the point in the session where lawmakers are desperate to keep measures alive. This means they turn to shucking — the popular tool for an end-run around open government. It’s a legal sleight-of-hand that’s also undemocratic…

[Visit the Tulsa World website to read the full editorial ]

Numbers of the Day

  • 27% – Percentage of Oklahoma families with children under age 18 that have household incomes of less than 200% of the federal poverty level and at least one parent worked 50 or more weeks during the previous year. The federal poverty definition consists of a series of thresholds based on family size and composition. In 2022, the 200% poverty threshold for a family of two adults and two children was $29,678. [KIDS COUNT]
  • 2 in 5 – Two in 5 Oklahomans working a single, full-time job cannot afford a two-bedroom rental. More than half of the state’s most common professions don’t pay enough to afford housing. [Economic Policy Institute via OK Policy]
  • 24% – Percentage of Tulsans experiencing homelessness who were over the age of 55, according to the 2024 point-in-time count. [Housing Solutions]
  • 6 in 10 – About six-in-ten U.S. adults say they’re bothered a lot by the feeling that some corporations (61%) and some wealthy people (60%) don’t pay their fair share. [Pew Research]
  • 73% – Percentage of Oklahoma County eviction judgements during 2023 that were due to the tenant not being present at court. [Shelterwell

What We’re Reading

  • The promise and perils of America’s safety net: In the United States, millions of people benefit in some way from the so-called social safety net, a series of programs meant to help Americans in need. Because of how hard it is to navigate the system, many people who qualify for housing, food or medical assistance struggle to get and keep their benefits. The PBS NewsHour looks at different forms of welfare in the U.S., who they serve, and how they’ve become ensnared in political fights. [PBS Newshour / YouTube]
  • Rising Rents and Evictions Linked to Premature Death: Housing takes a toll on America’s health. Tenants might have mold in their walls that impacts the air they breathe. Parents might live far from parks where they can go for a run or play with their kids, and families might not be able to find fresh fruits and vegetables within walking distance. But the most pressing issue for many is paying the increasingly unaffordable rent. This is not just an economic hardship. Our research shows that rising rent costs and evictions have important consequences for the risk of premature death. [Eviction Lab]
  • The Nation’s Homeless Population Is Aging Dramatically: Over the past 30 years, in fact, the homeless population has gotten substantially older. The percentage of homeless single adults aged 50 or older has climbed steadily, from 11 percent in the early 1990s to 37 percent in 2003, and now to nearly 50 percent in the 2020s. The population of homeless individuals who are 65 or older is predicted to more than double by 2030. But now more people are falling into homelessness for the first time in their later years due to high housing costs. [Governing]
  • How The Anti-Tax Movement Changed Politics and Government: In his new book, law professor Michael Graetz makes a provocative argument: The modern anti-tax movement is perhaps the most important US political trend of the past half-century. And its power goes far beyond economics. It simultaneously affects and is driven by culture, as well as attitudes about race and government. Graetz argues that anti-tax conservatives not only lowered taxes, especially for high-income households and corporations, but they changed government and politics in profound ways. And that, he says, was their ultimate goal. [Tax Policy Center]
  • Making Rental Assistance Work Better for People Struggling to Afford Housing: Housing Choice Vouchers are highly effective at helping people with low incomes afford housing, but they could do better in important ways. Federal lawmakers should prioritize enacting legislation to make the voucher program more efficient and more responsive to the needs and choices of the people it serves. [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities]


Annie Taylor joined OK Policy as a Digital Communications Associate/Storybanker in April 2022. She studied journalism and mass communication at the University of Oklahoma, and was a member of the Native American Journalists Association. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Strategic Communications from the University of Central Oklahoma. While pursuing her degree, she worked in restaurant and retail management, as well as freelance copywriting and digital content production. Annie is an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation, and holds a deep reverence for storytelling in the digital age. She was born and raised in southeast Oklahoma, and now lives in Oklahoma City with her dog, Melvin.