Editorial: Chamber wants tax hike (for us)

The new leader of the Tulsa Chamber is upset that the state finance director isn’t keen on raising taxes in light of the billion-dollar budget shortfall.

Chamber leaders love taxes – a long as they don’t affect them or their businesses. And they would much rather protect tax credits than worry about the effects of state tax increases on the middle class or poor Oklahomans.

They want to grow government so they can get big contracts to do work for the state. If poor people have trouble buying groceries or paying the rent, well, that’s just too bad.

Chamber hacks will put tremendous pressure on Republicans in the upcoming legislative session in February to raise the state income tax (and other fees and taxes) but preserve tax credits for rich businessmen. Conservatives will fight their efforts. They might stop a tax increase but good luck cutting tax credits.

The City of Tulsa wants to raise sales tax this spring. Sales tax is a regressive tax that hurts poor people far more than the rich and powerful.

If you have to raise taxes, here are some suggestions:

  • Charge a $10,000 licensing fee for any “doctor” who wants to commit abortions in Oklahoma.
  • Charge property taxes for casinos regardless of if they are on Indian land or not.
  • Limit the annual contributions millionaires and billionaires can make to their “family foundations” to $1 a year.

These common-sense tax hikes will never happen in this state as long as chamber overlords are in charge.