Budget & Tax

Updated statement from OCPA Chairman and OCPA President on attempts to cap personal itemized deductions

May 12, 2017

Jonathan Small, Larry Parman

This week, House and Senate committees at the Oklahoma Legislature have passed multiple bills, including House Bill 2347 and House Bill 2403, that cap personal itemized deductions effective January 1, 2017. OCPA Chairman Larry Parman and OCPA President Jonathan Small issued the following, updated statement regarding efforts to have one of these bills approved by the entire Legislature and sent to the Governor for approval:

“Action taken this week to cap personal itemized deductions in order to increase personal income taxes by more than $100 million on hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans will 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 and House Bill 2403 is what happens when lawmakers focus on the demands of government agencies and politics. These bills will directly punish Oklahomans who have a mortgage, who pay significant sums of property taxes to support their local schools and who pay for significant family medical expenses, as well as 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 or capital formation, or that 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 these bills.”