Halt the Tax Cut — Talking Points
With a $600 million budget shortfall, Oklahoma legislators have many tough decisions to make. But one decision should be easy: halting a tax cut that was never meant to take effect in these conditions.
The tax cut was only supposed to kick in if revenues are growing, but a badly written bill from last year is triggering it when the economy is faltering and Oklahoma is looking at even more cuts to schools, health care, and other important services.
We’re digging ourselves deeper into a hole and making our fiscal challenges harder to solve. Moving ahead with the tax cut adds some $50 million to this year’s budget shortfall and $150 million next year.
How can lawmakers justify yet another tax cut when:
- Teacher pay is almost the lowest in the nation, class sizes are rising, and we have hundreds of teacher vacancies across the state.
- State aid for K-12 education has been cut more in Oklahoma than any other state in the nation since the late 2000s.
- We have 7,000 families on a waiting list for home-based developmental disability services.
- Our prisons are at 115 percent capacity, yet at under 70 percent staffing.
- We’ve already cut reimbursement rates to Medicaid providers by almost 8 percent.
- Oklahomans suffering from mental illness and substance abuse disorders are going without treatment.
The costs of the tax cut far outweigh the benefits. The average middle-income Oklahoma household will get just $29 from the income tax cut, and 40 percent will get nothing at all.
TELL Oklahoma legislators: Do the moral, responsible thing and halt the tax cut. Balance the budget without cutting investments in our education, health, and safety.
Contact Your Legislators & Governor Fallin
House of Representatives Switchboard: 1-800-522-8502
Senate Switchboard: 1-800-865-6490
Governor Fallin: 1-800-865-5853