Apparently Coloradoans disagree with higher-education officials who believe that ten-fold increases in higher education costs are not enough sacrifice and are more than justified. Colorado voters sent a clear message, by a ratio of nearly 2 to 1, that they were not interested in increasing their income tax rate nearly 10 percent or increasing their sales tax rate to pay for increased common and higher education spending in Colorado. Coloradoans seem to be more in line with the thinking of Oklahoma voters and State Rep. Leslie Osborn, who are ready to see government operations and spending better scrutinized and decreased, including higher education.
With Coloradoans beat-down of attempted tax increases they, for now, remain at a better competitive advantage than Oklahoma as it concerns their current top personal income tax rate. But Oklahomans can change this by beginning the process of “right-sizing” government, and phasing out the state’s income tax over a 7 to 10 year period. This can be done by following the wish of Gov. Mary Fallin, who says she wants to phase out the state’s income tax. If Oklahoma eliminated its personal income tax it would infuse Oklahoma taxpayers and our economy with game changing economic freedom and provide the opportunity for Oklahoma to market itself as very likely the state with the lowest tax burden, thus making Oklahoma more competitive than Colorado and nearly every other state. Eliminating the income tax, based on 2010 data, would provide Oklahomans with approximately the following savings:
• Single Person Gross Income $30,000 – Savings – $950
• Family of 4 Gross Income $50,000 – Savings – $1,373
• Family of 4 Gross Income $60,000 – Savings – $1,924
• Family of 4 Gross Income $75,000 – Savings – $2,748
• Family of 4 Gross Income $100,000 – Savings – $3,651
The good news for policymakers who are trying to determine the best course of action is that voters want smaller government and lower taxes. The good news for taxpayers and voters is that policymakers like State Rep. Tom Newell and State Sen. Greg Treat understand what needs to be done to eliminate Oklahoma’s personal income tax.