Oklahoma state House member says tax cut fears unfounded

BY STATE REP. LESLIE OSBORN Published: April 27, 2012

When the Founding Fathers decided on a nonvoluntary system of procuring money from citizens, which is taxation, it was with the caveat that the amount procured would never be more than required for core essential needs of the populace.

Legislators have a duty to spend on those core services and maintain them in the best way to serve Oklahomans, but not to spend or procure a dollar more than is needed.

To that end, I authored House Bill 3038 to phase out the personal income tax in our state. This can be done without raising any new fees or taxes and would have a twofold effect on Oklahoma. First, it's a huge economic driver. As businesses flee the coastline states, we want to be the economic corridor they move to. New jobs, a strengthened and diversified economy and increased prosperity are the result. Second, it provides tax relief for hardworking Oklahomans who get to keep more of their own money.

The idea of phasing out the Oklahoma personal income tax has been argued, discussed and debated throughout the 2012 legislative session. Concerns have come up and been addressed.

“Democrats: Income tax cuts may drive up property taxes” (News, April 23) noted the fear that property tax rates would rise to pay for the phaseout of income tax revenue. This is an invalid argument; the Oklahoma Constitution forbids a statewide property tax. Another concern was that the income tax would continue to be phased out even in the midst of a future economic downturn. This was also addressed by inserting triggers into the bill that would discontinue rate cuts in time of little economic growth.

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