Budget & Tax

Leslie Osborn | February 19, 2014

YOU GUEST IT: Lawmaker says Oklahomans could use additional tax relief

Leslie Osborn

Recently, a group of 10 state legislators, me included, from the House of Representatives and state Senate introduced a proposal to gradually reduce Oklahoma’s personal income tax rate from 5.25 percent to 4 percent over four years. By 2018, when Kansas’ top rate will be 3.9 percent, we will only be one-tenth of 1 percent behind — in position to keep ahead of other states nipping at our heels.

Those who oppose empowering Oklahoma families and preventing individuals to invest their hard-earned capital as they see fit will predict a great loss of revenue from this proposal. But they’ve been wrong before.

Oklahoma has reduced income tax rates by more than 20 percent since 2005. Yet in the most recent full fiscal year, Oklahoma saw the highest total tax collections in state history, to the dismay of those who said tax cuts would deplete resources for core government services like public safety, roads and education.

Other states noticed Oklahoma’s positive growth as we steadily reduced our penalty on work over the past decade. They’re doing everything they can to be more competitive with us. Now, Oklahoma is in danger of taking our foot off the gas and shifting into the slow lane. Instead, we should seize an opportunity to provide additional tax relief to Oklahoma families and job creators.

By State Rep. Leslie Osborn

[This blog post previously appeared as an editorial column in The Oklahoman.]

Leslie Osborn

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