| January 24, 2012

Kansas, Oklahoma leading path to economic freedom

Taxpayers and job creators in Kansas and Oklahoma have to be encouraged that policymakers in both states are taking seriously the undeniable fact that the lowest-tax-burden states and the no-income-tax states soundly outperform the nation when it comes to economic growth. The state of Illinois is a testament to this reality.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s plan lowers the personal income tax rate from 6.45 percent to 4.9 percent and eliminates the tax altogether on small business entities.

Recognizing the significant disadvantage for Oklahoma compared to the lowest-tax-burden states and the no-income-tax states – and the even greater disadvantage for Oklahoma if it were sandwiched between two states (Kansas and Texas) with superior tax climates – Oklahoma lawmakers have acted boldly and responsibly.

Last week, four Senate lawmakers and 23 House members jointly filed bills to phase out Oklahoma’s income tax over a 10-year period. These lawmakers are not alone in their goal as Gov. Mary Fallin has stated she would like to see the tax phased out.

If Oklahoma were to phase out the personal income tax over a 10-year period, without raising any other tax rates or burdens, only Alaska would have a lower tax burden than our state. Oklahoma has the opportunity to establish itself as the nation’s top location for economic prosperity by responsibly phasing out its personal income tax, and it’s encouraging to see Oklahoma and its neighbor to the north leading the path to economic freedom.

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