State tax cuts

KWGS News Photo

A letter has gone to Oklahoma political leaders calling for a halt to a tax cut set to go into effect in January. Those behind the letter believe it is irresponsible to continue with the cut given the current budget crisis. The Oklahoma Policy Institute’s David Blatt says it’s unfair for the state to require the faith community, businesses, non-profits, and philanthropists to take up more and more of the burden.

He says the cut to the ‘top income tax rate will add millions of dollars to the budget shortfall…and will benefit very few Oklahomans.’

As our state's newly inaugurated legislative session continues, there's been no shortage of bills that've attracted attention from the national media -- for less than favorable reasons -- including bills that would ban "hoodies" or AP History classes, or those that would allow Oklahoma businesses to discriminate against their gay customers or else end civil marriages altogether. What we have not seen -- not yet, anyway -- is a responsible discussion of how to fill a $611 million shortfall in next year's budget.

Our guest on this edition of ST is Peter Fisher, research director at the Iowa Policy Project, who co-wrote a recently published paper, "A Well-Educated Workforce Is Key to State Prosperity," for the Economic Analysis and Research Network.

Tax Cut Bill Stalled

Apr 3, 2013
State of Oklahoma-File photo

The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee has stalled a leadership-backed bill to cut the state's income tax and then declined to explain why the bill has been laid over.

The decision Tuesday by Tulsa Republican Sen. Mike Mazzei comes one day after a separate income tax proposal Mazzei sponsored was soundly rejected by a House committee.

When approached by reporters after the meeting, Mazzei declined to respond to questions and said he had a pressing meeting to attend.

KWGS News File Photo

Advocates of cutting the state income tax quote polls showing a majority of Oklahomans favor the reductions. But a new poll released by the Oklahoma Advocacy Project shows the opposite is true, if it would mean less funding for schools, roads, and public safety.

David Blatt with the Oklahoma Policy Institute says the poll also shows many voters oppose paying for the cut by eliminating popular tax credit programs, as proposed by the Governor and legislative leaders.