Despite approval of roughly $1 billion in tax increases over the last three years, a new report claims Oklahoma will face “persistent” shortfalls that reach more than $1 billion by 2030 and “draconian cuts” to state services will occur unless lawmakers approve additional large tax increases.
But some economic experts say policymakers should view such claims with caution.
New data shows the state’s Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust, or TSET, has spent as much of Oklahoma’s tobacco-settlement funds on promoting bars and supporting a boathouse as on recruiting doctors to rural areas. That has lawmakers questioning the trust’s effectiveness.
A recent analysis by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City shows more people moving out of Oklahoma than moving in. This has closely followed the business cycle of the oil industry and changes to the personal income tax.