Weekly Wonk March 23, 2014

the_weekly_wonkThe Weekly Wonk is a summary of Oklahoma Policy Institute’s events, publications, blog posts, and coverage. 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 OK Policy released the results of a new poll that shows support for cutting Oklahoma’s personal income tax has dropped significantly among voters, and less than half now support a plan to reduce the state’s top tax rate.  The poll was covered on Public Radio Tulsa and discussed by The Norman Transcript.

The OK Policy Blog shared three trends to watch from Oklahoma’s Annual Report — Oklahoma’s reliance on federal funds has dropped significantly since 2011, the size of state government continues to shrink, and education spending is down $50 million since 2012 and $610 million from 2009.  

Ryan Gentzler wrote a guest post about efforts by lawmakers to stop the development of wind energy in Eastern Oklahoma.  We shared a graph showing that taxation does not deter drilling for oil and natural gas – in fact the biggest growth in horizontal drilling occurred in the state with the highest effective tax rate.  

David Blatt’s Journal Record column discussed how lawmakers’ proposal to move new state employees to a 401(k) style retirement plan could endanger existing pensions and increase the state’s unfunded liabilities.

Policy Notes 

Numbers of the Day

  • 98 percent – Percentage of children under 15 months covered by SoonerCare who had at least one well-child visit
  • 46 percent – Percentage of registered Oklahoma voters polled who support income tax cuts, down from 52 percent in 2013. Support plummets to under 30 percent when voters are informed details about the plan.
  • $189 million – Oklahoma’s estimated corporate income tax revenue losses due to offshore tax havens in 2011.
  • $4,425 – How much the state of Oklahoma spent per resident in 2013, less than every year going back to 2008.
  • 3.7 percent – Unemployment rate for Hispanic Oklahomans – vs. 10.3 percent nationally and 2nd lowest among the states, 2012.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.