Oklahoma tax cut proposal modest for a sandwich state

The Oklahoman Editorial Published: February 18, 2013
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The Kansas cut is better known now not as a victory for conservatives but as a dilemma for lawmakers. They must find ways to patch budget holes because of reduced revenues. Patches can take the form of spending cuts or raising other taxes. If it's true that cutting taxes leads to higher revenues, we should see that happen in Kansas.

It's too soon to say what will happen, but not too soon to say Oklahoma can't pretend that neighboring states don't have lower income tax burdens.

Texas has a vigorous and rebounding economy. Oklahoma can't ignore this either. After a painful paring during the recession, Texas lawmakers now have more money than they can spend because they're limited by law to maintain spending growth at no more than the rate of economic growth — now at a healthy 10.7 percent.

Those who argue that Fallin and Republican lawmakers are extremists because they want to again cut income taxes have lost perspective. What they propose is a relatively modest position for a sandwich state. It doesn't take things as far as Kansas and certainly not as far as Texas.

A key question is whether the modest tax cut is enough to incentivize population and economic growth. In other words, is the reduction in revenue — which may or may not be temporary — worth the price? We think it is, because of what's happening elsewhere.

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