Stitt calls for tax cuts as Oklahoma lawmakers return to work
(KTEN) — The second session of the 59th Oklahoma Legislature began Monday afternoon, kicking off with Gov. Kevin Stitt's annual State of the State Address.
Stitt updated the legislature on his "make Oklahoma top 10 in everything" goal he established in 2019.
The Sooner State is currently ranked sixth nationally in lowest cost of living, and eighth in energy affordability.
Among the Republican governor's top goals: Cutting the state income tax.
"With record savings and surpluses, I'm asking us all, 'if not now, then when?' In the 1990s, we were at a 7 percent income tax. So, I'm renewing my call: Let's get Oklahoma back on the path to zero," Stitt said.
The governor called for a special legislative session next week to approve House Bill 1002XXX, which would authorize a 0.25 percent state income tax decrease.
State Rep. Tammy Townley (R-District 48) supports the bill, saying there are other, more beneficial tax cuts the legislature could enact.
"I feel like my folks would be more happy with a grocery tax cut than maybe a personal income tax cut," she said. "I'm telling you, it's not that huge of a savings... whereas the grocery tax will be something they feel every single week, every single month.
But Stitt noted that eliminating the state income tax could boost growth.
"Think about what Oklahoma looks like in 20 years. Here's what I see: I see people moving here from all over the country," he said. "They can keep more of their hard-earned money thanks to our zero percent income tax. We don't need more taxes; we need more taxpayers."
The Republican governor also stood by his decision to send the Oklahoma National Guard to assist in securing the southern border. And he touched on jurisdiction boundaries for law enforcement, three years after the Supreme Court's McGirt ruling.
"We are still operating under a confusing and conflicting patchwork of jurisdiction across our state," Stitt said. "That's why I created the One Oklahoma Task Force, to come up with cross-deputizations and jail agreements, and I hope the tribes will choose to participate."