Wednesday, March 21, 2018

OCPA: damaging income tax increases will make OK less competitive with TX

OCPA Chairman Larry Parman and OCPA President Jonathan Small Statements on Proposed Damaging Income Tax Hikes

In response to proposed damaging income tax increases (capping itemized deductions and raising capital gains taxes), OCPA Chairman Larry Parman and OCPA President Jonathan Small made the following statements:

“We appreciate the efforts of various groups and dedicated Oklahomans to work for the improvement of our state. But, increasing penalties on work and investment in Oklahoma is not the way to build a state,” said Larry Parman, a former Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce who has extensive experience in business recruitment. “These proposed damaging tax increases would make our state less competitive with Texas, which has no capital gains tax because it has no income tax at all. The last thing Oklahoma needs is policies that make it even more difficult to diversify our economy coming out of a severe recession as a result of the downturn in energy prices. The best way for legislators to give teachers a raise is to get serious about cutting spending on the bureaucracies that feed off education dollars but do little for teachers or kids. But if legislators insist on raising taxes, at least they should focus on taxes that do the least damage to our state’s economic future.”

“Not all taxes are created equal,” Jonathan Small said. “Damaging income tax increases like these reduce the incentives to work and invest in Oklahoma. It is shortsighted to get money for education today by deterring investment, capital creation, and diversification while compromising students’ and families’ futures. Increasing the initial gross production tax rate from 2 percent to 5 percent on current and all future wells is a far less damaging tax increase proposal. OCPA earlier this year pointed the Legislature to other less damaging taxes in our ‘Plan That Can Pass.’ Implementing OCPA’s ‘Plan That Can Pass’ yields enough revenue ($505.4 million) to give every single classroom teacher in Oklahoma a $10,000 raise without increasing their and working Oklahoma families’ income taxes to pay for it. It’s time for the political and special interest posturing and subversions to end. It’s time to act on a plan for teacher pay raises that can pass and then turn to transformational reforms and robust oversight and accountability of state government.”

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