They last cut taxes back in 2012 which was 2 years ago. Over the past decade, the legislature cut taxes numerous times from a high of 7 percent to the current of 5.25. They did last year pass a tax cut bill for 2015, but the State Supreme Court struck it down due to unconstitutional logrolling with a separate subject. So now we’re back to the tax cut conversation in 2014. If I were to offer up my suggestion, I suggest lawmakers cut taxes to at least 4.75 and then finally 3.90 in 2018 which is where Kansas is scheduled to be.
The State House just passed a tax cut bill authored by my rep Earl Sears of District 11 (R-Bartlesville). The bill cuts the rate to 5.00 in the personal income tax rate and lowers the corporate rate from 6.00 to 5.00 too. I don’t have much a problem with it except one thing; it doesn’t take effect till 2016. What’s with the delaying of tax cuts? Some lawmakers actually want to increase taxes through allowing the horizontal drilling tax to return to it’s full 7 percent from it’s current 1 percent. Lawmakers generally just want more taxpayer dollars.
At the moment, Oklahoma’s economy is standing very strong in a recession and if taxes actually are cut by next year it’ll stand up even stronger. My concern is that states like Kansas (where my dad is from) to our north are cutting taxes while we’re dabbling about and doing little. Ultimately lawmakers will be forced to change tone and pace as competition comes I think. Some good news out recently though for Oklahoma. Recent census figure data showed we had the 9th largest migration inflow of any state. At the top not surprisingly were Texas, Florida and others. Kansas surprisingly came out one of the big losers in the bottom along with (not surprisingly) New York, California and Illinois. If we’re part of an income tax “sandwich” it’s not showing itself yet. Be wary lawmakers. Oklahoma is resilient but don’t take things for granted.