Monday, October 26, 2015

Shortfall

I had an interesting conversation yesterday. Oklahoma relies on taxes to raise money to pay for the operation of the state. Our budget in the next fiscal year is facing a shortfall of $600 million to $1 billion dollars. That is a billion less then we had this year, which was how much less then the year before and the year before?
The state relies on income from taxes on oil and gas production. With the dramatic loss of wells in production in the state we are facing a tremendous budget deficit. In great wisdom the state enacted laws making it very easy to eliminate a tax and very difficult to add or raise a tax. Something like a super majority in both houses is required. No one is going to vote to raise taxes. As a small business owner paying 8.375% sales tax now it is difficult to support a higher sales tax even though it is necessary.
There are no easy solutions. We know there is a major problem. It is just that no one appears to be doing anything about it.

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