The Norman Transcript

Editorials

February 17, 2014

Say no to tax cuts

NORMAN — OU President David Boren is again sounding the alarm against proposed cuts in the state’s income tax rate and reductions in agency funding. Mr. Boren feels so strongly about the issue that he personally bought advertisements in state newspapers this past weekend.

It comes as lawmakers begin wrestling with a state revenue picture that is estimated to be $170 million less than the previous year. Under the governor’s plan, higher education and other state agencies would have their funding reduced by about five percent.

He says an income tax cut would provide significant benefit only to the wealthiest one percent of the state. Sixty percent of Oklahoma taxpayers would receive approximately $2.50 per month in tax relief.

Mr. Boren shouldn’t be alone in raising the red flag. Other college and university presidents should be standing with him in rallying constituents and legislators. Higher education statewide has been challenged to produce more college graduates and to gain some efficiencies.

OU’s share of public funding has dropped by around 10 percent since 2008. In a Tulsa World interview, Mr. Boren said in the 1970s the state government funded nearly half of OU’s budget. It was about 32 percent when Mr. Boren took office in 1994 and will drop to 15 percent if the current budget cuts are approved by lawmakers.

Cuts in state funding often result in higher tuition and fees making OU and other institutions less affordable to Oklahomans. “It’s getting so we don’t have public education anymore,” Mr. Boren told the Tulsa World. “We’re privatizing and it’s more expensive to get a private education.”

We hope our local legislators will step forward, embrace Mr. Boren’s concerns and spread the message throughout the legislature.

Breaking news, severe weather alerts, AMBER alerts, sports scores from The Norman Transcript are available as text messages right to your phone or mobile device. You decide which type of alerts you want to receive. Find out more or to signup, click here.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Editorials
  • Call up National Guard

    We’re not sure it will help, but you have to hand it to Texas Gov. Rick Perry. He deployed up to 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to help secure his state’s border with Mexico this week....

    July 23, 2014

  • It’s only getting worse

    Conditions for children in Oklahoma were starting to look up for a few years, according to the annual Kids Count reports. Now we know it wasn’t getting better. The recession was impacting the rest of the country, dropping their scores....

    July 23, 2014

  • Noting a life well lived

    James Garner never intended to be a movie and television star. He just kind of lucked into it, he would tell those who asked. If you have the itch to act, get a good-paying job and spend your free time at your local community theater, he ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Recount that really matters

    Americans have been hearing a lot about Congressional elections, but there’s another one halfway around the globe that will matter far more....

    July 22, 2014

  • Runoffs get no respect

    The Aug. 26 Republican runoff election for the Cleveland County District 3 commissioner post is one of only 18 races on ballots around the state. Only two races are statewide — the Democrat contests for U.S. Senator nominee and state ...

    July 22, 2014

  • What’s causing these earthquakes?

    Much of north central Oklahoma has been experiencing about an earthquake a day this year. Statewide, there have been 2,270 small earthquakes so far compared to 2,848 in all of 2013. The question of whether oilfield “fracking” and ...

    July 19, 2014

  • Bankers and the pot biz

    It’s not a problem in Oklahoma — and probably won’t be for a long time, if ever — but bankers in states that allow medical and recreational marijuana have trouble dealing with marijuana-related businesses....

    July 18, 2014

  • Shelter petitioners face big challenge

    The debate over who should fund storm shelters for public schools has moved from politicians to the people....

    July 18, 2014

  • More jobs needed to boost economy

    Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s cautious optimism about the nation’s economy was reassuring to the stock market Tuesday. Yellen said the economy continued to improve but the recovery is not yet complete....

    July 17, 2014

  • Technology fights crime

    Cellular telephones are being used to solve crimes every day. Drivers routinely call in and report bad drivers, suspected drunk drivers or suspicious activity....

    July 17, 2014