What do your candidates plan to do about the budget?

Photo by Adam Rice

NOW is the time to be asking the candidates what they plan to do to get Oklahoma out of the hole and on a road to prosperity.  

They are trying to make an impression on YOU and by asking these questions you can both find out where they stand AND get them thinking about issues they may not have considered.  

Do future you a favor and respectfully ask the candidates about the issues that matter most. Here are some questions you might ask:

  1. Oklahoma is in a hole and I want to know if you are ready to stop digging.  If elected do you plan to cancel the next income tax cut and give Oklahoma time to recover before enacting any further tax cuts?
  2. We’ve cut the income tax by over $1 billion since 2004, with a large majority of the benefit going to the highest-income households.  If elected will you work to restore a top rate of 6 to 7 percent on very high incomes?
  3. Last session lawmakers cut the Earned Income Tax Credit by close to $30 million, taking an important tax benefit away from many low-income working families who have received little or nothing from the recent tax cuts. If elected will you support working families by either restoring the Earned Income Tax Credit or boosting the Sales Tax Relief Credit?
  4. Will you work to end unnecessary tax breaks, for example by restoring gross production taxes to the long-established rate of 7 percent, ending subsidies for wind energy, and ending the tax exemption of Oklahoma-held capital gains?
  5. As you are probably aware, some multi-state corporations shift their Oklahoma income to out-of-state subsidiaries in other to avoid paying state taxes.  If elected, do you plan to work to help Oklahoma to join other states who have adopted combined corporate reporting, which ensures that multi-state corporations pay their fair share of taxes, just like local business?
  6. As we saw last year, the supermajority requirement created by SQ 640 prevents lawmakers fro responding flexibly and appropriately to the needs of Oklahomans, even a crisis.  Will you help develop a ballot initiative to repeal SQ 640 or craft a less restrictive alternative?
  7. For years the state budget bill has been kept secret until the final days of session and then brought up for a final vote within days or hours of being introduced. We want legislators and the public to have adequate time to scrutinize and debate the budget before it comes to a vote.  If elected, will you work to require a minimum of one week between when the budget bill is introduced and when it can come up for a vote?

There are 7 questions above.  

  • You can get 7 people together and each ask one question,
  • you can ask them all at once in a letter,
  • you can attend 7 candidate events and ask one each time,
  • or you can do it some other way

Whatever you do,  make sure questions about taxes and the budget get asked!  The candidates need to know that making responsible decisions about funding will be their most important job

Our other priorities will continue to fail if we cannot pay for the education, infrastructure, and safe, healthy communities that Oklahomans need.  Get them thinking about it now! Ask the questions and look forward to some thanks from future you.  We are in this together both today and tomorrow!