Why Saving The Income Tax Is Critical For Oklahoma Business and Economic Development

1. Workforce and infrastructure matter to businesses. An educated workforce, good public schools, stable transportation systems, and safe communities rank higher than state taxes in surveys of what businesses look for when they expand or relocate. Cutting our single largest revenue source, which provides one in every three dollars to fund public services, would make renewed investments in these areas nearly impossible.

2. National organizations view Oklahoma’s current business tax climate favorably. A new Tax Foundation study of state taxes on business ranks Oklahoma fifth best in the nation for new firms and 16th best for mature firms. Oklahoma tied for 13th place in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s 2011 Enterprising States taxes and regulation rankings.

3. Tax credits that support job creation and investment are threatened. To offset the cost of cutting the top personal income tax rate, various proposals would eliminate the valuable credits and incentives businesses and economic developers use to help the state prosper. Oklahoma’s Quality Jobs program is funded entirely from income tax revenues.

4. Radically transforming our tax system creates uncertainty for business. Without the income tax, there will be constant pressure to raise other taxes and fees to pay for government services. Increasing our reliance on sales and property taxes could leave Oklahoma businesses paying more in taxes. Every state without an income tax has a higher property tax ranking than Oklahoma.

5. Oklahoma businesses are already thriving. Oklahoma‘s economy is among the strongest in the nation, outperforming no-income tax states.

  • Oklahoma had the 6th best job growth and 3rd best manufacturing job growth in 2011;
  • Oklahoma’s unemployment rate was 6th lowest in the nation, besting Texas and five of the other no-income tax states (2011);
  • Oklahoma’s per capita income growth from 2000-2010 was better than six of the nine states without an income tax;
  • Oklahoma had net in-migration from all but one of the no-income tax states, with the most new residents coming from Texas (2010).

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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