This year, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin sought to slash the personal income tax to 3.5 percent from 5.25 percent by ending certain tax breaks. Beneficiaries of those breaks successfully fought off any change, but policymakers are expected to try again next year.
Maybe they’ll do better than Kentucky lawmakers. Stateline.org notes that tax reform has been an issue there for a decade with little to show for it.
As in Oklahoma, closing tax breaks is in the mix in Kentucky, including generous exemptions for pension income and sales tax exemptions for accounting, legal services, dry cleaning, limousine rides, landscaping and country club memberships.
Kentucky Democrats want to increase the income tax on the wealthy, while some Republicans want to eliminate it. In both states, beneficiaries of current policies have fought hard against change.
Unlike Kentucky, however, Oklahoma Republicans can’t blame the failure of tax reform on divided government — they run the whole show here.