Three Economists: No Income Tax Likely Means Higher Property Taxes

  • Joe Wertz

Eliminating the individual income tax would likely result in higher property taxes, according to a trio of economic professors who spoke at a forum hosted by the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce.

The Oklahoman’s Don Mecoy was there.

“We hate property taxes in this state,” said Robert Dauffenbach, director of the Center for Economic and Managerial Research at the University of Oklahoma.

The personal income tax is the state’s largest source of tax revenue, comprising about $3 of every $8 taken in, Dauffenbach noted, according to The Oklahoman report.

Oklahoma City University’s Russell Evans and the University of Central Oklahoma’s Mickey Hepner rounded out the panel of economists.

Many state lawmakers support eliminating the income tax, including Gov. Mary Fallin, whose Task Force on Economic Development and Job Creation proposed eliminating the tax over the next decade.

States that don’t collect personal income taxes, like Texas, are often used as a model of economic policy.

A decade ago, Oklahoma’s interest in Texas’ tax policy created a political frenzy. Dauffenbach was among five economists who prepared a report on ways to replace revenues if the income tax was eliminated.

Hepner, dean of UCO’s college of business administration, said that the economy and household incomes have grown faster in Oklahoma than in Texas and most states that don’t collect income taxes.

“I don’t know about you, but to me that says instead of us trying to be more like them, maybe they should be a little bit more like us,” Hepner said, according to The Oklahoman.