Fallin plans to increase taxes on utilities, cable, add taxes to services from funerals to insurance
Tax cuts for corporations, upper income would remain in place, however
Admitting for the first time that Oklahoma’s budget crisis is the fault of lower revenue rather than extra spending, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has proposed a plan that keeps in place the tax cuts on corporations and wealthy families and instead passes the tax burden on to those who receive almost any kind of service in Oklahoma.
Sales taxes currently apply only to goods, not services.
If Fallin’s plan passes, next time someone prepares your tax returns for you, you’ll be paying the state of Oklahoma almost 5 percent more. Or the next time you get a tattoo. Or put money into a pension fund. Or hire a lawyer. Or have your windows cleaned. Or get a loan. Or buy insurance for your house or your life. Or have to pay for a funeral. Or have to hire an employment service. Or receive almost any kind of healthcare. Or use a credit union, or get dental care, or use child care or home health care. The list goes on to dozens and dozens of services.
A funeral that costs a family $10,000 today will add almost another thousand to the family’s burden if Fallin’s plan is implemented. Homes would cost more, as would health care. Grocery taxes for the state would be cut, but counties and cities would still collect taxes on groceries.
In addition to sales taxes on services listed above, Fallin has proposed new tax increases on tobacco, fuel and online purchases. The net effect will be middle to lower-income Oklahomans will pay almost five percent more for everything they do, including using electricity and water, while corporations continue to enjoy enormous tax breaks, according to opponents of the plan.
“Past tax cuts to the state’s income tax rates have favorited the wealthiest of Oklahomans,” the Tulsa World states in an editorial. “With the state already facing an $868 million budget hole and Fallin also looking to eliminate the corporate income tax, obviously there has to be some way to balance the state’s books.”