No more earned income tax credit, report recommends
Oklahoma's Task Force on Comprehensive Tax Reform was on a witch hunt in 2011. The committee was convened in an effort to streamline the state's budget and reduce the gaping deficit.
The task force met throughout 2011, ferreting out problems with Oklahoma's tax code, and released its final report with recommendations this week.
The task force recommends cutting broad-based tax breaks that help out Oklahoma's poorest families, while it recommends cutting the top income tax rate.
Oklahoma Policy Institute, a public policy think tank, released a statement lambasting the recommendations. "Doing away with broad-based tax benefits, such as the personal exemption, earned income tax credit, and sales tax relief credit, in exchange for a cut in the top income tax rate would reduce taxes for the wealthiest but actually increase taxes for a majority of Oklahomans," the statement reads. "This would hit hardest the poor and middle class families who are struggling most to make ends meet in a tough economy."
The institute also pointed to "secretive" meetings that led to the more unpopular recommendations against the earned income and personal exemption tax credits. "Several proposals in the report, including eliminating the personal exemption and broad-based tax credits, were never mentioned at the task force's public meetings and appear to have emerged from a series of private, closed-door meetings of task force members," the statement concludes.
Other recommendations made by the task force include reducing the corporate income tax rate from 6 percent to 5 percent; eliminating the income tax (a long-term goal); dumping the franchise tax and allowing the business activity tax expire Dec. 31.
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