The numbers are in. 3,959,353 people live in Oklahoma according to the newly released U.S. Census. Our state added 208,002 individuals over the last ten years. It’s better than the previous ten, but not enough growth to reclaim a previously lost seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Why is this? Well, all six states that increased their population in the 2020 Census and gained another member in the U.S. House have a tax structure more competitive than Oklahoma’s.
Florida and Texas are no income tax states. Colorado’s income and sales tax rates are lower than Oklahoma’s. North Carolina’s corporate income tax rate is half of ours. Oregon and Montana do not have a state sales tax.
Montana is seeing stronger population growth than Oklahoma! If the “Treasure State” can grow faster than 44 other states, then why can’t we? Well, we can, but we have to change our tax structure to attract more people and capital. The only way to produce more revenue and be Top Ten in jobs, education, roads and health care is to grow our population and tax base.
Oklahoma’s policy leaders need to recognize we didn’t make the cut for the last ten years and work to design a transformative strategy for the next ten.