Budget & Tax

Statement on legislative attempts to cap personal itemized deductions

May 9, 2017

Jonathan Small, Larry Parman

Today, the House Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget passed House Bill 2347, which caps personal itemized deductions at $17,000 effective January 1, 2017. OCPA Chairman Larry Parman and OCPA President Jonathan Small issued the following statement regarding this action:

“Action by a legislative committee today to cap personal itemized deductions for Oklahomans will result in a backdoor personal income tax increase of more than $187 million for 426,000 Oklahomans. This policy will hurt hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans and result in great harm to efforts to build a diversified state economy.

“We very much appreciate the corner the Legislature is in and the hard work they are doing to reach reasonable solutions. During tough times, it can be tempting to cobble together a budget. Adopting policy like House Bill 2347 is what happens when lawmakers focus on the demands of government agencies and politics. HB 2347 will directly punish Oklahoma families who tithe, have a mortgage, charitably give, significantly support their public schools with local tax dollars, and job creators who will have less to help grow their business and create jobs.

“We urge lawmakers and the Governor to recognize the reality that Oklahoma taxpayers and the Oklahoma economy are facing serious economic headwinds. We encourage them to do the tough, but vitally necessary work, to also significantly adjust state government spending to the current revenues available to government. To the extent that some additional revenues are pursued, they should be revenue increases that don’t penalize work, capital formation or prevent necessary comprehensive tax reform in the future.

“We look forward to continuing to work with lawmakers to not just balance a budget, but build a state. We hope the marketplace fails to recognize the implications of this policy and voters are kind to those who support this bill.”