The deadline for bills to make it out of committee has passed. Both good and bad bills made it over this hurdle. Here are issues that we’re speaking out on this week:
Stop Attacks on SoonerCare
Multiple bills have been proposed this legislative session that would take away SoonerCare health coverage from very low income parents or add unnecessary bureaucracy that prevents families from getting the health care they need. HB 1270 would require an expensive and unnecessary reconstruction of Oklahoma’s SoonerCare enrollment system and make it harder for families who need SoonerCare to get and keep their health coverage. HB 3556 would end SoonerCare coverage for low-income parents who fail to complete work, training, or volunteer requirements. SB 1030 would slash the income cutoff for low-income parents to be eligible for SoonerCare, ending health coverage for thousands of Oklahomans.
Oklahoma has better options to increase working and reduce poverty, but taking away health care from struggling parents will only make our state’s economic future worse. Find your lawmakers here and tell them to stop these attacks on Oklahomans’ health care.
Repeal the Capital Gains Tax Deduction
Oklahoma’s capital gain deduction allows income from the sale of Oklahoma real estate or stock in an Oklahoma-based firm to go fully untaxed. This tax break is costing Oklahoma hundreds of millions without paying off in economic growth. Economic development experts working with Oklahoma’s Incentive Evaluation Commission concluded that this tax break reduced state revenues by $474 million from 2010 to 2014 while creating only $9 million in revenue growth. Furthermore, in 2014 nearly two-thirds of the benefit went to just 824 household with incomes of more than $1 million dollars. Ending the capital gains tax break is supported by Oklahoma voters. Fifty-five percent of Oklahoma registered voters favor ending the capital gains tax break, compared to just 35 who would oppose ending it, according to a recent poll by Global Strategy Group for OK Policy.
Thankfully we have a chance to put an end to this wasteful loophole. SB 1086, a bill that would sunset the capital gains deduction in 2018, passed the Senate Appropriations committee. Please contact your legislators and ask them repeal this inefficient tax break and support SB 1086.