If Congress does not reach a budget agreement, the Bush tax cuts will expire and citizens’ income taxes will increase significantly. Recognizing this, the State Equalization Board went ahead and added $60 million into their revenue estimates for the legislature to reflect what the state could bring in through increased taxes and less claimed deductions. Sen. Ralph Shortey believes any increase in tax revenue caused by Congress’ lack of action should be given back to Oklahoma taxpayers, not used to grow state government.
The Oklahoma City Republican said that taxpayers should benefit from any federal windfall either through an across-the-board income tax cut or by receiving a tax rebate check from the state.
“Oklahomans don’t agree with President Obama’s policy to increase taxes. Unfortunately, we can’t control what Congress or the President does, but we can control what the state does with these additional tax dollars. They should go right back into the pockets of those who worked hard for them,” said Shortey. “I think giving tax rebate checks would be the fastest way to infuse that money back into our economy. However, a permanent reduction in state tax rates would be preferable for long-term economic growth. It would also help strengthen Oklahoma families.”