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Tax system will have starring role in Oklahoma policy agenda

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: January 24, 2013

Eliminating the sales tax on groceries is another chestnut given new life by OK Policy. It's a good idea but a non-starter because local governments depend so heavily on the sales tax. Ending the tax on groceries would take a dramatic restructuring of the sales tax system, including the aforementioned tax on services that would constitute a tax hike for the middle class.

As it has repeatedly, OK Policy wants to curtail tax preferences for horizontal and deep well drilling, credits that are keeping the gross production tax at low levels. This deserves scrutiny, but the credits should be viewed in the context of competitiveness with other states that offer them.

Some solid ideas advanced by OK Policy include addressing the disparity between sales taxes paid on purchases made in the state and those made online. Also, we need a responsible approach to cutting taxes that involves dollar-for-dollar spending cuts to offset tax reductions.

In advance of the 2013 legislative session, the state's progressive-leaning think tank has unveiled its recommendations on tax policy. They should be considered with the same measure of thoughtfulness that went into forming them. The same is true of opposing views that will soon surface as, once again, the tax system takes a starring role in policymaking.

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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