Thursday, December 29, 2022

Left-wing and right-wing OK think tanks unite on expanding sales tax to services?

It's not often that the main left-wing and right-wing think tanks in Oklahoma agree on tax policy, but we've entered something like the Twilight Zone.

Both the Oklahoma Policy Institute (left-wing) and the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (right-wing) have now promoted expanding Oklahoma's sales tax to cover most services, which are currently not included under the current taxation system. As some of you may recall, Governor Mary Fallin made a similar, very controversial proposal in 2017 (it never received legislative consideration).

Last week, OPI's executive director wrote an op-ed in the Journal Record calling on the legislature to expand the sales tax to services. This wouldn't ordinarily be all that attention-grabbing, as the left-wing think tank has spoken out over the years against pretty much any tax cut, and has repeatedly advocated for tax increases. 

However, earlier this year, right-wing think tank OCPA published a column and a comprehensive paper calling for the expansion of the sales tax.

When Gov. Fallin proposed applying the sales tax to services, it was estimated to increase the taxation on consumers by over $1,703,879,742 (that's 1.7 Billion dollars with a B). That was five years ago. It's most assuredly higher than that now.

By way of reminder, here's a list of services that Fallin wanted to tax in 2017. It's quite extensive:

Mary Fallin's proposed $1.7B sales tax hike in 2017. Click to enlarge, or view at this link.

To be fair, OCPA sees the expansion of the sales tax as an opportunity to balance it out by reducing or eliminating other taxes, such as the state income tax. OPI sees it, apparently, as an additional revenue stream.

Expanding the sales tax to include services would be a massive burden on small businesses and lower, middle, and fixed income consumers in Oklahoma. 

I've reached out to state legislators for their input on this matter, and will post an update on it soon.

Just another reminder that taxpayers have to be vigilant at all times when it comes to fighting tax hikes.


Post a Comment

PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR NAME when commenting. Anonymous comments may be rejected if NOT accompanied by a name.

Comments are welcome, but remember - commenting on my blog is a privilege. Do not abuse that privilege, or your comment will be deleted.

Thank you for joining in the discussion at! Your opinion is appreciated!