Tuesday, May 9, 2017
May 9th, 2017 -- Yesterday, the House and Senate Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget passed House Bill 2347, which caps personal itemized deductions effective January 1, 2017. Dr. Tom Coburn has issued the following statement regarding efforts to have the bill approved by the entire legislature and sent to the Governor for approval.
“Efforts to cap itemized deductions in order to increase personal income taxes by $187 million on more than 426,000 Oklahomans directly oppose the promises by conservatives to do the tough work of going line by line through every expenditure of government and to reform government so that it lives within the current tax burden in Oklahoma, especially during a tough economy. These efforts should stop immediately.
“Oklahoma’s economy is hurting due to the recessionary effects of OPEC’s energy price war and stagnant economic growth due to the failed tax, spend, and regulate policies for eight years under the Obama administration.
“Oklahoma policymakers shouldn’t exacerbate Oklahoma’s problems by enacting a tax increase that penalizes the productive behavior of Oklahomans who tithe, have a mortgage, charitably give, pay significant sums of property taxes to support their local schools, and pay for significant family medical expenses.
“Oklahoma policymakers should reject efforts to pass backdoor income tax increases and instead work to eliminate millions in subsidies for out-of-state wind companies, millions in bloat and waste in higher education, millions of tobacco settlement spending on efforts harassing Oklahomans about their health, millions diverted to the build-up of funds for Career Tech buildings and non-classroom spending in common education, millions in rebates for tribal entities selling cigarettes, millions in preferential tax treatment for tribal activity that competes with non-tribal commerce, and millions in administrative overhead exploding in our public schools. Ending these inappropriate spending efforts are all better substitutes than a personal income tax increase of $187 million on 426,000 Oklahomans.
“I urge Oklahomans across the state to make your voices heard over the throng of lobbyists, special interests, and tax consumers who are inundating lawmakers with the rhetoric that the sky-is-falling and you must pay more in taxes—and urge your lawmaker and the Governor to oppose HB 2347 and any efforts increasing personal income taxes on Oklahomans.
“I urge lawmakers and the Governor to reject the rhetoric of lobbyists, special interests, and tax consumers and fulfill their campaign promises to protect taxpayers.”