It’s spring! There are 9 weeks left in session, and the Oklahoma state budget is in crisis.
That brings us to…
Really important decisions are being made right now about next years budget.
- Put in your address at http://togetherok.org/halt-the-tax-cut/ to get connected with your legislators and find sample language for a letter to them.
- RSVP and invite folks who care to our Together Oklahoma General Meeting on Thursday, April 2nd from 1 pm-3 pm at the Ralph Ellison public library in OKC. (event on facebook HERE)
Why It Matters
Why do I say the $611 million dollar budget hole trumps everything else? Because every single state service we depend on needs funds to operate, and if our legislators don’t find revenue to fill the hole they are going to fall back to cutting services. Frankly we can’t afford to cut any more. Hospitals are going bankrupt, teachers are working second jobs to make ends meet or leaving the state for better pay and that list of kids with disabilities waiting for care is not getting any shorter.
Do all Oklahomans a favor by telling your legislators that they need to stop digging the budget hole deeper! Yes, that means canceling plans for yet another tax cut and also stop adding more tax breaks with no idea what they will cost.
This situation is such a mess that it has pushed everything else off our agenda for this week’s update. When you are at the education rally next week remember FUNDING is the big issue that is holding us back.
When history remembers the Oklahoma from way back in 2015, do you want horrible national headlines to be our only legacy, or are you taking action to make sure that good things come out of this year as well? Let’s make this a year where Oklahomans stood up for sound fiscal policy.
Join us for a Together Oklahoma General Meeting! We’ll be gathering to discuss our options at the Ralph Ellison Library on Thursday April 2nd from 1 pm-3 pm. The library is at 2000 NE 23rd Street Oklahoma City, OK 73111 and you can find more event details on our Facebook event HERE.
Slam the brakes on that tax cut! Last year legislators passed a tax cut that they promised would only take effect if revenue increased. Due to a miscalculation made last year the automatic trigger is set to cut revenues THIS YEAR even though we have a huge budget shortfall. The tax cut would deliver a measly $31 dollars a year for the average middle-class family while taking hundreds of millions from core services! Let your legislators know that you don’t want them to let this happen and you know they can stop it.
Stop the double dipping! Long ago a simple policy error created a loophole through which some folks can deduct their state income taxes ON their state tax return. We are one of ONLY SIX STATES that still does this. We haven’t gotten around to cleaning up this error and it is time because this is costing us state revenue that we desperately need.
Give us all the gift of combined corporate reporting! Most states do this because it is smart and we should do it too. Combined corporate reporting is one of the best ways to make sure that corporations aren’t moving their profits out-of-state to evade paying their fair share of state taxes. This would save us money and give a more level playing field to the mom and pop shops who live AND work in Oklahoma and who are currently paying their fair share.
Expand Health Care by accepting federal funds! Who suffers when a rural hospital files for bankruptcy as did Vinita’s Craig General Hospital this week? Those are regular Oklahomans like you and me who aren’t receiving the care they should because somebody is playing politics. This is the 7th rural Oklahoma hospital to close in the last 5 years. Let’s stop playing games here and get down to saving lives. Tell your legislators we need to pick up the federal funds that are lying there on the table and prove that we Okies know how to take care of our own.
Not doing these above four things is sorry way to run the state that we love, right? It is time we stood up to say so! There are three more stop gap measures that explained here in OK Policy’s seven Options for a balanced approach to solve Oklahoma’s budget gap .
I believe in us. We have seen some dark times, but it is spring and the sun has come out to shine. Lets show the world that Oklahoma can be as beautiful as our state redbud tree by doing the right things to help all Oklahomans thrive.
I’m looking to you to contact your legislators today to halt the tax cut! We can make sure Oklahoma has a brighter future if we all call our legislators today with these seven strong suggestions that can restore our Oklahoma pride and support ALL our Together Oklahoma priorities. I hope to see y’all on Thursday, April 2nd to share ideas and I hope you invite your friends and colleagues so that together we can make a difference!