Budget & Tax

| February 5, 2014

YOU GUEST IT: 2014 agenda: Leaner, smarter government and a tax cut

[In November, you heard Governor Mary Fallin tell Neil Cavuto on Fox News when discussing Obamacare that "the whole plan's been a debacle." Earlier this week, in her State of the State address, she maintained her stance of "categorically and unequivocally" rejecting Obamacare "and the drastic expansion of government-funded and government-run health care within it." Today, in a guest blog post for OCPA, Gov. Fallin expands that conversation even further to include other areas where the state can "pursue reforms that will mean less government spending and more money in the private sector." We encourage you to read the governor's post below as she kicks off OCPA's newest feature, “You Guest It,” an ongoing series of guest articles from some our state's most important thought leaders.]

As another legislative session gets underway, I’m encouraging lawmakers to pursue reforms that will mean less government spending and more money in the private sector.

That starts with a responsible income tax cut. I am proposing an income tax cut of 0.25 percent that will put more than $100 million back into taxpayers’ wallets each year. I continue to believe that lower taxes lead to job creation, increased productivity, and greater prosperity.

My budget also makes state government leaner. I have proposed an overall reduction in state spending and 5 percent budget cuts to most agencies. As I said in my State of the State address, families face budget cuts all the time. Any business worth its salt can reduce its operating cost by 5 percent. Agencies can too, by finding ways to operate more efficiently and effectively.

To further reduce costs, I’m also working to continue consolidation of state agencies. This year I’m proposing that five existing agencies with tourism and/or recreational missions be consolidated into the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department. This will lead to a 15 percent reduction in administrative overhead while preserving the same level of services.

Finally, I am asking lawmakers to join me in more carefully scrutinizing the money being hoarded and unspent by state agencies. Each year Oklahoma agencies have, on average, almost $1 billion in accounts called “revolving funds.” I believe some portion of that money should be returned to the people of Oklahoma or spent on government services.

If we make these changes, we will continue to strengthen our economy and deliver the smaller, smarter government that Oklahoma taxpayers deserve.

By Gov. Mary Fallin

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