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Kevin Stitt Wants to Raise Taxes on the Wealthy!

8:59 AM EDT on September 15, 2023

Things are getting weird and crazy in Oklahoma!

Earlier this week, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt – a staunch conservative –called a special session of the legislature. The number item on the agenda? Tax fairness! 

We know this thanks to all these local media headlines:

Yes, you read that correctly! 

Kevin Stitt – an uber-wealthy Republican businessman who made his fortune during the subprime mortgage boom – is calling for tax fairness! That would be like a commissioner of the State Fair calling for fairer beer prices and carnival games!

Seriously, isn’t this nuts?

Obviously, by calling for “tax fairness,” Stitt is implying that he wants to raise state taxes on wealthy elites, corporations, and industries that pay a disproportionately lower share of their income in taxes when compared to typical lower and middle-class Oklahomans.  

I wonder how he plans on making taxes more fair? Raising state income taxes on Oklahomans making more than $250,000K a year? Increasing property taxes on large landowning families? Raising franchise taxes?

Let’s check out the details:

Today, Governor Kevin Stitt announced he is calling a special session of the Oklahoma Legislature beginning October 3, 2023, to demand tax fairness for all Oklahomans, deliver a tax cut to Oklahoma taxpayers, and increase transparency in the state budget process.

“We have one job – to serve and protect all four million Oklahomans,” said Gov. Stitt.  “I’m calling on the Legislature to fight for Oklahomans and demand fairness and transparency in our tax system and our budget process. I am also calling on the Legislature to put Oklahoma on a path to zero income tax and give Oklahomans a much-needed tax break. If not now, when?”

In the Governor’s call for special session, he called the Legislature to deliver on the following priorities:

1)     A trigger law mandating that if a state or federal court finds that some individuals, due to their race, heritage, or political classification, don’t have to pay a state tax, then no Oklahoman will have to pay the tax. 

2)     A tax cut that puts Oklahoma on the path to zero income taxes. This will keep us in line with surrounding Republican-led states. 

3)     A measure that increases budget transparency to ensure that Oklahomans and their elected representatives have the ability and opportunity to see how their taxpayer dollars are being spent. 

Wait. He wants to eliminate the state income tax?

I know I’m not an Evangelical rube who – thanks to years and years and years of right-wing indoctrination – has been tricked into voting against my own self-interest when it comes to tax policy, but isn’t that the opposite of tax fairness?

If anything, it’s tax unfairness. Nobody likes paying income taxes, but it’s probably the fairest way to implement tax policy.

Well, at least in theory. As we all know, ultra-wealthy people like Kevin Stutt usually find ways to pay a lower percentage of their income in taxes than us common folk. 

If you eliminate the state income tax, then wealthy people will pay even less in taxes, especially if it’s offset by increases in other areas. For example, increasing property taxes will affect middle-class homeowners and most renters, who will simply see the tax increases passed onto them, much more than the wealthy. The same goes for sales taxes, which will see the dirt poor people from rural Oklahoma pay the same rate on goods as mansion-owning mortgage bankers who are banned from doing business in Georgia.

It almost seems like Stitt’s call for “tax fairness” – along with eliminating the income state income tax – is nothing more than toothless propaganda designed to drum up some support from the lunatic right as part of his proxy war against the Oklahoma Senate, tribal nations and people with brains. 

So I guess my optimistic headline that Stitt wants to raise taxes on wealthy Oklahomans is technically incorrect. I probably should have gone with Kevin Stitt is still a piece of shit instead. 

Stay with The Lost Ogle. We’ll keep you advised. 

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