Editorial: Bill to ax income tax would spell disaster
BY World's Editorial Writers
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
1/24/12 at 2:59 AM
Twenty-three members of the Oklahoma House of Representatives - nearly a fourth of that body's membership - have signed on as co-authors of a bill to do away with the state personal income tax over a 10-year period.
The authors of House Bill 3038 claim that the income tax can be axed without raising other taxes or cutting funding to core services currently provided by the state, which would be a feat of legerdemain worthy of the great Houdini.
The trick would almost certainly have to be accomplished - if it were to be accomplished - by freezing core services, such as education, roads and health care for the poor. Freezing those services at current levels while costs such as employee health insurance and transportation and heating fuel continued to inflate would, after 10 years, have the same effect as deep cuts.
H.B. 3038 wouldn't exactly gut education and other services, because they've already been gutted. What it would do is complete the dismantling of them.
Doing away with the state income tax without providing offsetting revenues would be the height of irresponsibility.
The income tax funds about a third of the state's appropriated budget. Think of Oklahoma's government as a three-legged stool. The three legs that support it are sales taxes, oil and gas gross production taxes, and income taxes. Cut off one leg and what happens to the stool?
The same thing that will happen to Oklahoma if this irresponsible bill were to be passed.
Original Print Headline: Irresponsible