The Norman Transcript

Opinion

May 6, 2013

Many reasons to avoid cut to income tax

(Continued)

NORMAN —

5. Our Capitol is falling apart. The most visible evidence of this is the entrance on the east side where a covered walkway had to be built to protect visitors from falling pieces of the building’s exterior. Inside the electrical, water and sewer systems are antiquated and inadequate to the task of supporting a modern office building. It will cost in excess of $200 million to bring the building into the 21st century, but no one in the legislature or the Governor’s office has the guts to champion a bond issue to do the job right. Instead, the Governor proposed spending $8 million next year to patch the cracks and study the problem. Know what? The problem has already been studied and the actions needed are clear. The legislature needs to pass a bond issue.

6. State employees are going on their seventh year without a pay raise. Seven years! I retired from OKDHA last year. For much of my career I felt I was doing good work and mostly felt appreciated. The last year, not so much.There are many good people in state government doing important work. They deserve your praise, and they deserve a pay raise.

7. Oklahomans already have low taxes. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Oklahoma’s tax burden ranks 40th in the nation. That’s not exactly a statistic crying out to be rectified by lowering taxes.

8. Tax burden is not a factor in recruiting industry to the state. When the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce polled industries considering locating in Oklahoma about what they looked for, low taxes didn’t make the top 10. GE’s recent announcement that they would locate a research center in Oklahoma indicated that proximity to customers, a quality education system, qualified workers, and good public services are what matters to industry.

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