Budget & Tax

Curtis Shelton | April 22, 2024

Amid tax cuts, state revenue growth continues

Curtis Shelton

Low-tax states—specifically, states that don’t have a personal income tax—have been outgrowing the rest of the country. This trend has not gone unnoticed. The majority of states have jumped on the tax-cut bandwagon. Since 2021, fully 27 states have enacted some sort of tax cut.

Opponents of those tax cuts claimed that state revenue, at the time being propped up by federal funds, would come crashing down. A new analysis by the Tax Foundation shows that this has not been the case. Across the board, state government revenue has grown over the last three years, but states that cut taxes saw a larger revenue increase on average than states that didn’t. 

The average revenue increase was 9.8 percent among the 27 states that cut taxes—while the average increase was only 6.2 percent in the states that didn’t.

Oklahoma is among the states that cut taxes, dropping its personal income tax rate from 5 percent to 4.75 percent in 2021. Since then, the state has seen an 8.2 percent increase in tax revenue when adjusted for inflation. (Personal incomes, unfortunately, have not shared in the same growth. Since 2021 per capita income in Oklahoma has dropped from $65,035 to $60,307 when adjusted for inflation, a 7.3 percent decline.) While the state can’t do much to combat the root causes of inflation, it can allow taxpayers to keep more of their paychecks through another tax cut.

Although growing the government is never the goal of tax cuts, research and experience have shown time and time again that taxes can be cut without harming core services, even in Oklahoma. Another round of tax cuts would go a long way toward alleviating some of the pressure increasing prices have had on families’ budgets.

Curtis Shelton Policy Research Fellow

Curtis Shelton

Policy Research Fellow

Curtis Shelton currently serves as a policy research fellow for OCPA with a focus on fiscal policy. Curtis graduated Oklahoma State University in 2016 with a Bachelors of Arts in Finance. Previously, he served as a summer intern at OCPA and spent time as a staff accountant for Sutherland Global Services.

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