State Taxes Jump $367 Million Last Seven Years, Study Says

Article excerpt

Oklahoma taxes have increased by a net of $367 million over the past seven years, according to a study released Thursday by Gov. George Nigh.

The study, prepared by the Office of State Finance, found that the 1984 and 1985 Legislatures increased taxes by a combined total of $503 million on an annualized basis. That is the amount by whichthe current annual tax rate exceeds that existing in 1983.

An earlier report by the Legislative Fiscal Office showed taxes were decreased $136 million on an annualized basis by legislative sessions from 1979-83.

The $367 million figure is the amount of decreases subtracted from the tax increases passed by the past two legislatures.

""This left a net tax increase of $367 million for the seven years, again on an annualized basis,'' said the study.

The 1984 and 1985 figures were based on estimates supplied by the state Board of Equalization and Tax Commission, the study said. The 1979-83 figures were based on estimated revenue impact at that time with no allowance for inflation or other economic changes.

Taxes were reduced from 1979-82 during the rise of the energy boom. Taxes were neither raised nor lowered in 1983, when falling oil prices and the national recession sharply reduced state revenue. …