A badly planned and poorly timed tax cut has narrowly passed the House and gone to Governor Fallin for her signature. It schedules automatic tax cuts over the next several years that will cost more than $250 million when fully implemented.
So what now?
We are still looking at damaging cuts to the public services that matter to you and your family. If our legislators don’t find ways to plug those budget leaks, Oklahoma may have to make across-the-board cuts to every agency this year. Even more are expected in next year’s budget if lawmakers don’t find new revenue. How’d you like to see your friends and neighbors get laid off right before the holidays? Don’t give up! This email will address what can be done by people who care.
- Horizontal drilling credits
- Corporate Tax Credits
- Bi-partisan rejection of Income Tax Cuts
One of the biggest drains on the budget right now is a huge and growing tax break for horizontal drilling. A tax break originally for experimental technology is now subsidizing a commonplace, highly profitable form of drilling. It cost Oklahoma $250 million this year alone. If Oklahoma does away with the tax break and invests the savings in schools, here’s what it could mean for your local school district.
As Republican former Oklahoma City Mayor Kirk Humphries put it, “80 percent of our wells are horizontal. I don’t think that government should incentivize anything that is going to happen without the incentive, and believe me, baby, horizontal drilling is going to happen without the incentive.” (Source)
Right now your legislators trust that most Oklahomans won’t vote or if they do, they’ll vote straight party and ignore the details of who does what. We need to teach them that we are paying attention and connecting the dots. Schedule a visit with your legislators to show them how much our corporate tax breaks are costing Oklahoma schools and services. Don’t expect that they will know without you pointing it out!
Speaking about the lack of oversight over corporate tax credits, our Oklahoma State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones recently said, “We don’t know how much they are, who has them, or when they are going to cash them in.” (Source) Tell them “that is preposterous!”
I’m asking you to build a relationship with TWO people and hold them accountable. Find your legislators here and let them know about your feelings about how they voted on the tax cut.
Click Here to find the folks who deserve shame and praise. PLEASE contact them and let them know you are watching what they do and that you’ll remember in November.
Please thank ALL the legislators who voted against the Income Tax Cut. All Democrats and a bakers dozen of Republicans looked at the math, listened to their constituents, and admitted that we can’t afford tax cuts right now.
We have made progress since this plan to eliminate the income tax came up 2 years ago. This is a much smaller cut than what was first proposed, and seeing all Democrats and 13 Republicans vote against it is an achievement! (John Bennett missed the vote but would have voted no and Armes, Casey, Dewitt, Hardin, Hulbert, McNeil, Nollan, Ortega, Ownbey, D. Roberts, Thomsen all voted NAY!) If you’ve been contacting your legislators and spreading the word then you are part of that change!
Many of those who voted for it were hesitant to do so. NOW is the time to put pressure on them to find ways to increase revenue and help save our essential public services.
Thank you for staying vigilant!