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Economic Freedom
A Look Back: 25 Years of State Spending

December 22, 2017 - 10:06am CST

The data analyzed in these charts come from Oklahoma’s comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR) created by the Office of Management and Enterprise Services. Because of the long time period (25 years), the numbers are adjusted for inflation. Whether considering the spending totals or spending per... READ MORE

How Does Oklahoma Rank in Tax Climate Study?

December 22, 2017 - 8:36am CST

By Curtis Shelton The Tax Foundation recently released its 2018 State Business Tax Climate Index. The report gauges how each state’s tax system compares to the others and ranks each one. In this year’s edition, Oklahoma is ranked 32nd. The index measures five components of a state’s tax system: in... READ MORE

Off The Charts

December 20, 2017 - 9:45am CST

Gov. Mary Fallin, during the regular and first special legislative sessions, repeatedly used a chart showing cuts to state agencies since 2009. This chart is supposed to make the case for increasing taxes to boost state government spending. The Governor's numbers, however, only include appropria... READ MORE

November Gross Receipts

December 15, 2017 - 3:31pm CST

Oklahoma State Treasurer Ken Miller has released the gross receipts collection numbers for November. His report is good news for state agencies and reflects a recovering Oklahoma economy. Revenue collections were 12% higher in November 2017 than in the same month last year. This is the eighth month ... READ MORE

When It Comes to Cost of Living, Red States Win

December 11, 2017 - 3:39pm CST

By Byron Schlomach Blue states generally offer richer social benefits on paper. So at first glance, it seems like you’re better off being poor in California than in Mississippi. On the other hand, some in blue states have complained about how red states get more money from the feds per dollar of f... READ MORE

Did Harvey Weinstein Benefit from Oklahoma’s Hollywood Handout?

November 3, 2017 - 3:12pm CDT

Photo by Georges Biard / CC BY-SA 3.0 Businesses mostly maximize profits. Big businesses often discover one way to do this is to get special tax deals for their particular industry. Hollywood is a big business, and has followed this game plan in state capitols, including in Oklahoma City. Current s... READ MORE

The Facts about Revolving Funds

November 1, 2017 - 3:20pm CDT

While recent legislative appropriations have remained relatively stable, total state spending has increased nearly every year. Much of the non-appropriated spending comes from the revolving funds designated for certain state agencies. Revolving funds are not part of annual legislative appropriation... READ MORE

TSET Promotes Alcohol Consumption, Other Risky Behaviors

November 1, 2017 - 2:26pm CDT

By Trent England Why does a state agency award grants for “alcohol use prevention” while promoting bars? And why would any state agency spend money to promote “drag shows” and other raunchy programs at nightclubs? OCPA’s Center for Investigative Journalism recently reported that Oklahoma’s Tobacco... READ MORE

Use TSET to Protect Vital Services

October 25, 2017 - 9:39am CDT

In the final hours of the 2017 legislative session, lawmakers desperate to find revenue passed Senate Bill 845 to impose a $1.50 per pack tax on cigarettes. (To get around constitutional limits on legislative power, they labeled the measure a “fee.”) The Oklahoma Supreme Court unanimously struck do... READ MORE

Contra Oklahomans’ Preference, State Government Continues to Grow

October 18, 2017 - 1:22pm CDT

As chair of the House Appropriations and Budget Committee, Rep. Leslie Osborn was one of the legislature’s budget negotiators earlier this year. She used that position to make the case for a litany of tax increases, claiming that Oklahomans are “tired of us doing things the way we’ve always done t... READ MORE

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