Wednesday, October 04, 2023

Poll: Oklahomans oppose race-based tax exemptions

Poll: Oklahomans oppose race-based tax exemptions

OKLAHOMA CITY (October 2, 2023) — A new poll shows Oklahomans strongly oppose exempting individuals from paying state income tax based on their status as a member of a Native American tribe.

According to the survey, conducted by WPA Intelligence (WPAi) on behalf of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA), 63% of voters agree that members of Native American tribes in Oklahoma should be subject to the same tax laws as all other citizens in Oklahoma.

“It is simple common sense that any tax law in Oklahoma must apply to all citizens equally, rather than carving some people out solely because they have an ancestor who was listed as an Native American tribal member on federal rolls more than a century ago,” said OCPA President Jonathan Small. “Oklahomans understand that exemptions based on race or tribal citizenship are fundamentally wrong.”

A case now before the Oklahoma Supreme Court, filed by Alicia Stroble, argues that all Native Americans living on land within the historic, pre-statehood reservation lines of several tribes are exempt from paying state income tax—even if they live on privately owned land purchased from non-Indian owners.

The case could impact all people of Native American descent living on land covering 42 percent of Oklahoma.

Stroble’s argument has received support from the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, Cherokee Nation, Chickasaw Nation, and Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, which have all filed briefs in the case.

The WPAi survey found that 76% of Republicans, 56% of Independents and even 44% of Democrats believe that members of Native American tribes in Oklahoma should be subject to the same tax laws as all other citizens in Oklahoma.

Gov. Kevin Stitt has called a special legislative session, which will convene on Oct. 3, to cut the state income tax, put Oklahoma on the path to full elimination of the personal income tax, and pass a “trigger” law mandating that if a state or federal court finds that some individuals, due to their race, heritage, or political classification, don’t have to pay a state tax, then no Oklahoman will have to pay the tax.

The WPAi survey was conducted from September 23 to 25, 2023. The study has a sample size of 523 likely voters with a margin of error of ±4.3% in 95 out of 100 cases.

The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs is a free-market think tank that works to advance principles and policies that support free enterprise, limited government, individual initiative and personal responsibility.


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