Budget & Tax

Big-spending agencies on naughty list again

December 21, 2021

Curtis Shelton

Oklahoma state agencies seem to believe they’re on Santa’s “nice” list: they have requested an additional $815 million in funding for fiscal year 2023. This includes $660 million in appropriated funds.

This request for additional funding comes at a time when families across the state are dealing with ever-increasing prices. Inflation hit 6.8 percent in November.

With no help in sight from the federal government on dealing with rising prices, Oklahoma’s state government should focus on helping everyday Oklahomans. Over the first five months of the fiscal year, Oklahoma’s state government has collected $790 million more than last year. This after a record-setting year in revenue collections in fiscal year 2022.

Our state’s political leaders should get in the holiday spirit and offer a true gift to Oklahoma families in the form of income-tax relief. Eliminating the state’s income tax is the surest way to restore Oklahomans’ income after the indirect tax increase from rising inflation.

To combat this inflation, the Fed has sped up discussion on raising interest rates. This increase in the interest rate could cool off the national economy considerably. State government leaders can set Oklahoma on a path of continued growth by adopting one of the main policy stances seen by the fastest-growing states in the country. States like Florida, Tennessee, and Texas have all seen billions of dollars in net wealth migration over the last two decades.

A comprehensive tax reform that relies more on consumption and allows Oklahoma taxpayers to keep more of their paychecks would create more stable revenue and a faster-growing state economy.