Budget Emergency Talking Points
Why Oklahoma Lawmakers Must Find Recurring Revenue to Close the Budget Hole
Oklahoma agencies have already deeply cut spending. Nearly every state agency has been forced to dig deep to cut less important and less efficient programs — the easy savings are already squeezed out.
Future spending cuts will be devastating to the economy and to average families. Without new revenues, the spending cuts required to balance the budget will severely harm schools, nursing homes, rural hospitals, and other key services. Budget cuts will also take money out of the economy at a time when Oklahoma can least afford it — a large majority of spending by state government goes directly to Oklahomans who are part of our state economy in both the public and private sectors.
Oklahoma has sensible revenue options. In contrast to the devastating budget cuts now on the table, Oklahoma has quite a few sensible revenue options that have so far been left untapped. These include stopping an income tax cut that was never meant to take effect in these conditions, eliminating the wasteful double deduction for state income taxes, accepting federal dollars to extend health coverage, and reducing tax incentives that have grown dramatically in recent years even as spending was deeply cut.