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Oklahoma lawmaker: Cutting income tax rates requires addressing tax credits

BY STATE REP. DAVID DANK Published: February 1, 2013
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Last year we were unable to deliver income tax relief for Oklahomans, in part because we failed to address the tax credit issue. Lobbyists blocked those efforts. As a result, many Oklahomans are now being hit with higher federal taxes and no relief from the state.

Our goal during the upcoming legislative session should be twofold: put in place stringent criteria to govern existing and future tax credits, and sunset all existing tax credits as of July 1, 2014, to give lawmakers two full sessions to assess, change or repeal them. These criteria should include sunsetting, caps, strict auditing requirements, and most of all a careful cost-benefit analysis of any tax credit to assure that it creates real, lasting jobs. We also must stop issuing transferable tax credits, which can be bought and sold like poker chips.

Those are the rules that govern our successful Quality Jobs program. If we apply them to current and future tax credits as well, we can plug our state's leaky fiscal boat and get down to the business of giving all Oklahomans substantial income tax relief.

Dank, R-Oklahoma City, represents District 85 in the Oklahoma House.