The Oklahoma House's top Democrat says critical state education and transportation needs coupled with declining tax revenue means the timing is not right to pass an income tax cut this year.
House Minority Leader Scott Inman (D-Del City) made the comments shortly after the House adjourned Thursday. Proposals to reduce the state's 5.25 percent top income tax rate by a quarter of a percentage point once revenues improve are expected to be considered by the Legislature next week.
“We can provide some opportunities, but we can’t do it if we keep cutting back on revenues and cutting taxes,” Inman said. “It’s nearly impossible for the Legislature to address funding for education, higher education, the disabled, corrections, transportation, if we continue to move down the path that they’ve been moving on.”
Inman says educators have asked lawmakers to restore budget cuts that have trimmed $200 million from public school budgets in recent years. And lawmakers want to increase funding for road and bridge repairs.
Inman says those goals cannot be achieved as long as lawmakers continue to cut back on revenue.