Ramp up education and infrastructure to attract businesses

Published: April 29, 2012
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Proponents of cutting the income tax assume that more businesses will come to Oklahoma. In fact, taxes aren't a significant factor in luring businesses. Businesses want an educated workforce and strong infrastructure (good roads, bridges, etc.) — two areas that will be hard hit by a phaseout of income tax. Oklahoma is already fifth-best in the nation for new firms and ranked 13th in 2011 by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on taxes and regulations. Oklahoma is sixth in job growth and third in manufacturing job growth in 2011. Oklahoma has less unemployment and greater personal income compared with six of the nine states with no state income tax, including Texas. If attracting businesses and more jobs is the goal of Oklahomans, we need to ramp up education and infrastructure. Sales taxes are already high, and higher rates will hurt retail businesses.

Phillip Massad, Oklahoma City