Communications & Public Affairs
Feb. 12, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Jacquelyn Walsh
Phone: (405) 557-7370
House Democrats Respond to Failure of Step Up Oklahoma Plan
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma House Democrats released the following statement regarding the failure of House Bill 1033:
“For a year, revenue options have been presented, debated and voted down in this Chamber. In that time, the word compromise has been skewed to the point where it now seems to mean blind acceptance without any real dialogue or negotiation. While the House Democratic Caucus had members on both sides of the vote today, we are unified in our belief that the bill presented today was far from equitable and left unaddressed many of our state’s needs. This bill sought to mend some of our state’s problems with taxes that asked working families to pay more while asking very little of those at the top and the oil & gas industry.
With the support of our constituents, we stand ready to put 28 votes on the board for a plan that addresses the state’s long-term financial needs and ensures tax fairness among all classes and industries. If Republicans insist on a revenue plan that includes taxes that disproportionately affect low and middle income Oklahomans, like the fuel and cigarette taxes, then they must also include:
1) an equitable income tax plan that includes restoration of the top income tax rate of 5.25% on high earners, reinstatement of the earned income tax credit for low income Oklahomans, and an increase in the standard deduction for middle class Oklahomans,
2) A gross production tax equal to the current top income tax rate of 5%
3) An end to the retaliatory attempts to double-tax renewable energy that only serve to hurt both the state’s energy diversification and the ability to recruit next century jobs.
4) An immediate pay increase for both state employees and teachers.
We recognize that this is only the second week of a four-month-long legislative session and know that the will to negotiate a better plan still exists on both sides of the aisle. We look forward to working with our Republican colleagues to put forth a plan that is good for all Oklahomans, not just a select few.”