Budget & Tax

Curtis Shelton | December 22, 2017

How does Oklahoma rank in Tax Climate Study?

Curtis Shelton

By Curtis Shelton

The Tax Foundation recently released its 2018 State Business Tax Climate Index. The report gauges how each state’s tax system compares to the others and ranks each one. In this year’s edition, Oklahoma is ranked 32nd.

The index measures five components of a state’s tax system: individual income tax, sales tax, corporate income tax, property tax, and unemployment insurance tax. Each component is weighted, with the individual income tax having the most weight and unemployment insurance tax having the least. (Coincidentally, Oklahoma’s lowest rank is the individual income tax at 38th and its highest is the unemployment insurance tax at 1st.)

Oklahoma looks relatively unfavorable when compared to its regional neighbors in the index. At 32nd overall, Oklahoma outranks only Arkansas, which comes in at 39th.

Overall Corporate Tax

Individual Income Tax

Sales Tax Property Tax Unemployment Insurance Tax
Oklahoma 32 9 38 36 15 1
Texas 13 49 6 37 37 26
Kansas 23 38 19 31 19 12
Arkansas 39 39 30 44 22 32
Missouri 16 5 28 24 7 7

While this index is not a barometer for the overall economy of each state, it does show which states may have an advantage when it comes to attracting new businesses and individuals. As The Wall Street Journal editorial board recently noted, people vote with their feet. This migration has a tremendous impact on the state’s economy and government collections. At a time when Oklahoma’s economy is showing signs of growth, policymakers should focus on continuing and bolstering that growth.

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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