Thursday, January 11, 2018
Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government.
The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. It also calls for creating an office to ferret out waste in state government.
"Our state is in crisis," said David Rainbolt, executive chairman of BancFirst Corp. and a member of the coalition called Step Up Oklahoma. "We have a revenue problem and we have a reform problem. .... We will be better off for business and recruiting new businesses and growing businesses if we pass this package. We can't wait any longer. It's time to step up."