Gov Stitt Wants to Eliminate Oklahoma State Income Tax
Governor Stitt recently went on record reiterating an idea from last year to eliminate the Oklahoma State income tax.
Like anything mildly political, there are really loud opinions on both sides of this issue. Some Oklahomans are all about keeping more of their paycheck each month. Others feel this is a Trojan Horse maneuver to increase property taxes much like Texas has.
On Fox Business the other day, Gov Stitt said:
Obviously, income tax, we want to get rid of income tax, get that to zero,
When you do that when you have a budget surplus. So it just makes common sense. You either raise expenses or you cut revenue. And so I’m not going to put our core services at risk. But with surplus you should give that back,
The surplus he's talking about is a shockingly large chunk of change. Oklahoma has $2.8 billion in the savings account and even more in a 'rainy day' fund. Instead of boosting budgets and finding a way to spend it, the governor wants to give it back to the people.
Not only does this (surplus) stand as a testament to the benefit of our conservative fiscal policies, it represents the strength of our economy, the success of our businesses, and the hard work of Oklahomans.
Oklahomans know how to spend their money better than the government, so let's leave more in their pocket. With a record $1.3 billion in the Rainy Day Fund and continued growth in our savings, there has never been a better time to cut taxes.
In addition to ending the state income tax, Stitt is also pushing to end taxing our groceries. They talked about this in 2021, but the bill morphed into a stimulus and later died due to America's record post-pandemic inflation.
While most Oklahomans would undoubtedly enjoy keeping more of their paychecks, there's a large inner voice of reason that is suspicious of the intentions. Since when did a government up and say "We can just do with less money"?
The opposition isn't limited to the citizens.
While it has been a large talking point between the people, state lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are fighting this tax-cutting idea with some surprising vigor.
The biggest talking point is "What if we need that tax money one day?"
That's a fair point. What if Oklahoma suddenly comes up short? The obvious answer is raising taxes, but it's not that simple.
In Oklahoma, it only requires a simple majority to cut taxes. A State Senate vote of 25-23 can get it done... That's just over half in favor of, but the big hurdle would be in raising or reestablishing taxes. To do that the state requires a super-majority vote. In Oklahoma, that's 75% voting in favor of, much harder to do in legislation.
Since the Oklahoma legislative season ended months ago, all of this talk is geared for the future when the house and senate reconvene in 2024.
If you want to voice your opinion, you'll be able to find your local politicians here. Send them an email.