Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release:
August 10, 2017
Sen. Thompson calls “Deep Dive”
study on taxes a success; next step is study on tax reform
Roger Thompson is calling his just-concluded study on Oklahoma’s
tax code a success. The second of two meetings, featuring in-depth
presentations on state taxes, exemptions, credits and spending,
concluded Wednesday with eighteen members of the Senate attending
the final hearing. Thompson, chair of the Senate Appropriations
Subcommittee on Finance, organized the hearings.
“You can’t reform what you don’t understand—that’s
why these meetings were so important,” said Thompson, R-Okemah.
“It’s an extremely complex issue, but ultimately it
affects every single person in Oklahoma. These hearings were comprehensive,
and included research gathered over the past two decades. We didn’t
need to reinvent the wheel—but now it’s time to get
that wheel rolling.”
Thompson noted that Oklahoma’s current sales tax exemptions
are in excess of $6 billion a year. Various tax credits cost the
state more than $250 million. But he said the amount of credits
claimed, though not taken represent a potential liability of several
hundred million dollars more.
Thompson said the next step will be an interim study on reforming
Oklahoma’s tax code.
“We must be able to provide adequate resources for our most
fundamental services, but instead of raising taxes, we need to broaden
the tax base—doing that will provide the resources we need
and we could even lower the overall tax rate,” Thompson said.
As part of his work on several national committees examining taxes
and revenue, Thompson said a major issue for states like Oklahoma
is the failure to adapt to significant economic shifts and other
changes over the decades.
“In the early 1950’s, 67 percent of goods sold were
taxed. Today it’s just 32 percent—less than half. Yet
here in Oklahoma, our population has grown by half a million people,”
Thompson said. “Modernizing our tax code and broadening the
tax base will enable us to stabilize our budget and better fund
our schools, health and mental health, public safety, and better
address other critical needs.”
For more information, contact:
Sen. Thompson: (405) 521-5588