House Democrats Say Tax Reform Plan Will Raise Taxes for Most Okies

  • Joe Wertz

Oklahoma House of Representatives

Scott Inman, D-Del City, said House Democrats oppose the tax reform panel's recommendation to eliminate tax credits to offset a reduction of the personal income tax.

Among dozens of tax credits to be eliminated under a plan proposed by a legislative tax force is a child care income tax credit claimed largely by the “working poor,” the president of the Oklahoma Child Care Association told The Oklahoman.

Many parents sign over their income tax checks to pay for their child care in advance, Kathy Cronemiler told the paper’s Michael McNutt.

House Democrats oppose eliminating the child care credit, House Minority Leader Scott Inman, D-Del City, told The Oklahoman.

“We fundamentally oppose raising taxes on working-class and middle-class Oklahomans to cut taxes for a select few,” he said. “We will oppose it at every turn. The plan that has been rolled out it is a tax cut for 5 or 10 percent of the state and a tax increase for 80-plus percent of the state.”

The child care credit was claimed on more than 362,000 tax returns in 2010, which returned about $28.9 million to taxpayers, The Oklahoman reported, citing records from the Oklahoma Tax Commission.

Eliminating the child care credit and 46 other personal income tax “preference items” would return about $352 million to the state and help offset reducing Oklahoma’s top personal income tax rate to 4.75 percent from 5.25 percent over two years, according to a recommendation made last week by the Task Force on Comprehensive Tax Reform.

The task reform panel’s plan is also drawing criticism from two of its own members, who refused to sign the recommendation, according to the Tulsa World.

One of the opposing task force members, Don Millican — the CFO of Tulsa’s Kaiser-Francis Oil Co. and an “at-large” task force member appointed by Gov. Mary Fallin — likened the recommendation to “taking money from the poor and giving it to the rich.”

Clarification: Originally, we wrote that Millican “equivocated” the task force’s recommendation, a word that implies guilt through ambiguity. That was poor word choice and not our intent. The last paragraph of the story has been updated. -JW