Tax cuts can wait
BY World's Editorials Writers
Monday, May 14, 2012
5/14/12 at 2:48 AM
Gov. Fallin is beginning to sound like Mary, Mary, quite contrary with her insistence that the Legislature further slash income tax rates.
For a governor who generally has the best interests of her constituents at heart, this is a decidedly bad idea for obvious reasons. Core services in Oklahoma are starving; classroom sizes are mushrooming and at the same time, the public school workforce is losing more and more personnel through cuts. Health-care needs are great. State infrastructure needs repairs or upgrading. And, the list goes on.
Cutting income taxes to the degree suggested would not have a significant impact on individual taxpayers. It's not like many Oklahomans could pay off their car with the savings. But, collectively a reduction would make a huge, devastating difference in the state's balance sheet. Oklahoma needs that money.
The governor last week suggested that lawmakers running for election this year will notice the disappointment of constituents if they fail to reduce the personal income tax rate. We would suggest that constituents will be a lot more disappointed with their leaders if their child ends up in a class with 35 or 40 other students.
In case the governor hasn't noticed, mothers are marching in the street, demanding education be spared any more cuts.
Where is the groundswell for cutting taxes right now? The political capital gained from doing so would quickly evaporate if constituents routinely get the bottom knocked out of their cars or their tires flattened because of crumbling roadways.
How many more people - in one of the unhealthiest states in the nation - can Oklahoma leave without adequate health care?
There might come a time when tax cuts would be justified - a time when state leaders could look constituents in the eye and honestly say that adequate core services are being delivered. That time is not now.
Original Print Headline: Not now
Gov. Mary Fallin: Last week suggested that lawmakers will notice the disappointment of constituents if they fail to reduce the personal income tax rate.