Why Saving The Income Tax Is Critical For Low-Income Oklahomans

1. Oklahoma’s income tax is important to balance regressive sales and property taxes. Low-income Oklahomans already pay a higher share of their income in taxes than do wealthier families. They pay the most in sales taxes, property taxes on their homes or indirectly when they rent, and motor vehicle taxes. The progressive income tax only partially alleviates this imbalance, and without income tax revenues, it is very likely that our state’s most regressive taxes would be increased to fill the gap.

2. Proposals to cut the income tax would end important tax preferences for low-income families. All of the tax plans introduced in the legislature would shift more taxes onto low and moderate-income families. They would eliminate broad and effective tax breaks, including the Earned Income Tax Credit, Sales Tax Relief Credit, and Child Tax Credit, to make way for income tax cuts that primarily benefit wealthier households.

3. Tax cuts hurt our ability to meet Oklahomans’ most basic needs. Oklahomans face some of the highest levels of poverty and food insecurity in the nation, with more than 1 in 4 Oklahoma children unable to obtain enough food. Loss of income tax revenue would poke more holes in our state’s already fragile safety net. It would devastate funding for public schools, child welfare services, indigent health care, and other programs crucial for the well-being of low-income Oklahomans.

What You Can Do Today

1. Get Informed. Resources to learn more about the income tax debate are freely available athttps://okpolicy.org/take-action

2. Contact elected officials. Let your elected representatives and the top officials who are making decisions on taxes and the budget know how you feel. Your voice can be heard!

Speaker Kris Steele (405) 557-7345 krissteele@okhouse.gov
Rep. Earl Sears, Chair of House Appropriations and Budget committee (405) 557-7358earl.sears@okhouse.gov
Senate Pro Tem Brian Bingman (405) 521-5528 bingman@oksenate.gov
Senator Clark Jolley, Chair of Senate Appropriations Committee (405) 521-5622jolley@oksenate.gov
Governor Mary Fallin  (405) 521-2342 click here to email the Governor
Find your state legislators’ contact information here and see how to contact Governor Fallin here. You can also reach your legislators through the House switchboard at (405) 521-2711 or 1-800-522-8502  and the Senate switchboard at (405) 524-0126 or 1-800-865-6490.

CLICK HERE for the PDF version of this factsheet


Oklahoma Policy Insititute (OK Policy) advances equitable and fiscally responsible policies that expand opportunity for all Oklahomans through non-partisan research, analysis, and advocacy.

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