Oklahoma State Senate
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: May 16,
Senators Jim Wilson and Stratton Taylor
and Representatives Joe Eddins
and Debbie Blackburn (L-R) discuss impact of proposed tax cuts.
Proposed Tax Cuts Will Devastate Oklahoma in Years to Come
Wilson, Representative Debbie Blackburn and Representative Joe
Eddins stated today that the current round of Oklahoma tax cuts
being considered by both house of the legislature will only prove
to be devastating to future programs and needs of Oklahomans.
The legislators stated that the tax cuts, which are
phased in over a period of four years, seem like a good plan, but
in the end will only end up costing Oklahomans more grief and problems.
“Every prosperous state in the nation has a
great infrastructure. For Oklahoma to truly be a major contender
in attracting more businesses and people, we need to invest in our
infrastructure – such as our roads and bridges and invest
more, not less in education. Overall, we need to enhance the quality
of life for our citizens, not incrementally erode our tax base over
the next four years,” said Wilson, D-Tahlequah.
The tax cuts will be phased in beginning in Fiscal
Year (FY) 2006 and will reach their full potential in FY-09. The
fiscal impact of the first phase is just under $58 million; however,
the fourth phase of the tax cuts will have almost a half a billion
dollar impact on Oklahoma’s agencies, programs, and education
“This TABOR-like tax proposal was instituted
in Colorado and now their current governor, Bill Owens, has realized
the huge mistake that has been made and is working to get as far
away from the escalating tax cuts as possible,” stated Representative
Blackburn, D-OKC. “We may not be Ezekiel, Isaiah, or Jeremiah,
but as legislators we still have a prophecy to make and what these
cuts will do is dramatically weaken education, infrastructure, public
safety and other programs vital to every citizen in this state.”
The tax cuts include providing an income tax rate
reduction – an impact of a little more than $42 million in
the first phase and an impact of $220,560,000 in phase four –
providing a capital gains extension, which will end up costing taxpayers
$10.5 million along with many other cuts that will slowly erode
Oklahoma’s tax base over the next four years.
Representative Eddins also noted that the idea of
reducing the top tax bracket is no doubt the least attractive plan
for economic expansion and begs the question of the value of supply
side economics. “Our goal is to protect working Oklahomans
and to build our state’s economy and infrastructure. Implementing
these tax cuts will only cause a negative effect that will greatly
impact Oklahoma in years to come,” said the Vinita Representative.
Eddins added, “Twelve years ago Oklahomans
voted upon and approved to create a 10 percent income tax increase
in HB1017. If we are going to institute major income tax cuts to
go against the people’s will, then I believe we again need
to let the people decide their fate.”
Senator Wilson concluded, “These cuts will
occur no matter what happens to Oklahoma’s revenue collections.
That means if our revenues stagnate or decline, we’ll be faced
with either budget shortfalls which will have to be balanced on
the back of our public schools and other critical programs.”
Senate Communications Office- (405) 521-5774