Budget & Tax

Jonathan Small & Curtis Shelton | April 30, 2018

New revenue passed since 2015

Jonathan Small & Curtis Shelton

A common narrative about Oklahoma is that tax cuts created a budget crisis—and the Legislature has done nothing to solve it. While we have questioned this story about tax cuts, it is also important to note that the Legislature, along with the governor, have also increased government revenues. Before passage of HB 1010xx, a number of high-profile tax packages failed. This has led some to believe the Legislature has not raised new revenue in recent years. However, from 2015 through today, the Legislature has raised about $1.1 billion in annual tax increases and revenue.

Since 2011 (the first time that Republicans controlled the Oklahoma House of Representatives, the Oklahoma Senate, and the Governor’s office at the same time), personal income tax burdens on Oklahomans have actually been increased, on net, by policymaker actions. Just a one-quarter of one percent personal income tax cut has been enacted by lawmaker and gubernatorial action since 2011. In fact, just since 2016, the personal income tax burden on Oklahomans has been increased by $185 million. So contrary to local, national, and international narratives from the left, complete Republican control has not led to personal income tax cuts.

Note: the figures and descriptions below come from press releases from the Governor’s office, the Oklahoma House of Representatives, the Oklahoma Senate, the Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES), and the Oklahoma State Board of Equalization.

2015 Legislative Session



Tax Commission compliance initiative$31,400,000.00
Workers compensation insurance premium tax/Multiple Injury Trust Fund apportionment reform$24,200,000.00
County Improvement Roads and Bridges apportionment reform$21,900,000.00
Tax Commission fraud initiative$8,500,000.00
Tourism sales and use tax apportionment reform$7,800,000.00
2015 Total$93,800,000.00

2016 Legislative Session

Economically at-risk well rebate reform$111,000,000.00
State personal income tax deduction elimination$87,300,000.00
Earned Income Tax Credit nonrefundable$25,900,000.00
Investment New Jobs Tax Credit reform$12,700,000.00
Tax refund statute of limitations reform$9,100,000.00
Coal credit reform$881,423.00
Railroad reconstruction credit reform$122,570.00
Child care facilities credit reform$115,744.00
2016 Total$247,119,737.00

2017 Legislative Session (Figures in the links are found on pages 7-9)

Noncompliant sales tax permit holder collection initiative$15,200,000.00
Reducing film tax credit$1,000,000.00
Freezing Oklahoma standard deduction at tax year 2017 amounts$3,700,000.00
Tax Commission voluntary disclosure initiative$12,200,000.00
Repeal of monthly vendor discount for sales/use tax collections$11,700,000.00
Modifying motor vehicle sales tax exception$103,100,000.00
Modifying sunset dates for gross production tax exemptions$40,900,000.00
Long lateral drilling$5,200,000.00
Increasing reinstatement fee for suspended corporation$775,000.00
Establishing a fee on tickets to professional sporting events$2,700,000.00
REAL ID compliance with fee$18,800,000.00
2017 Total$215,275,000.00

2018 Legislative Session

Cap of itemized deductions$94,015,000.00
Increase from 2% to 5% of GPT on oil and gas wells$204,582,000.00
Motor fuel tax increase (3 cent increase for gas and 6 cent increase for diesel)$114,526,500.00
$1 per pack increase on cigarettes$152,074,000.00
Little cigars taxed as cigarettes$954,000.00
Market place sales (collect sales tax from third-party sellers)$20,500,000.00
Expand gambling to allow ball and dice$24,000,000.00
2018 Total$610,651,500.00
2015-2018 Grand Total Recurring Tax and Revenue Increases$1,166,846,237.00

During the teacher walkout, this memo was placed on the office doors of serval lawmakers. The memo shows the amount of revenue raised during the teacher walkout. It should also be noted that before the passage of HB 1010xx and HB 1011xx, which will raise over half a billion dollars, revenues collected for this fiscal year have already grown by over $800 million compared to the previous year.

Jonathan Small President

Jonathan Small


Jonathan Small, C.P.A., serves as President and joined the staff in December of 2010. Previously, Jonathan served as a budget analyst for the Oklahoma Office of State Finance, as a fiscal policy analyst and research analyst for the Oklahoma House of Representatives, and as director of government affairs for the Oklahoma Insurance Department. Small’s work includes co-authoring “Economics 101” with Dr. Arthur Laffer and Dr. Wayne Winegarden, and his policy expertise has been referenced by The Oklahoman, the Tulsa World, National Review, the L.A. Times, The Hill, the Wall Street Journal and the Huffington Post. His weekly column “Free Market Friday” is published by the Journal Record and syndicated in 27 markets. A recipient of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s prestigious Private Sector Member of the Year award, Small is nationally recognized for his work to promote free markets, limited government and innovative public policy reforms. Jonathan holds a B.A. in Accounting from the University of Central Oklahoma and is a Certified Public Accountant.

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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