The results are in! Last week I asked you to choose how to spend the extra $2.6 Billion the state has available for Fiscal Year 2024. 25% of you chose to fix more roads and bridges. 62.5% opted to pay down debt so we can reduce taxes, and 12.5% selected tax rebate checks.
Your choices indicate the vast majority want to improve our finances and improve our roads over the immediate gratification of some spending money. This Tulsa-based financial planner is impressed with your long-term focus.
So, let’s work out your strategy with a few bold tactics to stimulate growth and prosperity for our kids and grandkids. A one-time deposit of $250 Million to the ROADS fund would help affect the recent inflation shocks for infrastructure work and jump start much needed work on rural roads.
A $1 Billion deposit to the Teacher Retirement System would free up tens of millions, some of which could be dedicated to additional road work. My suggestion would be to raise the ROADS funding cap from $575 Million to $625 Million. The additional cash flow could be dedicated to the first element of tax reform.
Now for some politicians, tax reform is just a tax cut. For bold and courageous politicians, true tax reform broadens the base of taxpayers by eliminating special gimmicks for well-connected donors. The first reduces revenue, but the second is revenue neutral.
With Republicans in complete control of our state government, the time has come to work on the necessary reforms to make Oklahoma a no-income-tax state. No-income-tax states had greater income and population growth than Oklahoma over the last 10 years. We’re in a global race for jobs and people, so we had better give Oklahomans the best playing field to be top ten in wages and growth.