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Oklahoma climbs in business tax climate rankings: State Chamber eyes more improvements to attract businesses - KOKH FOX25

Author: KOKH FOX25

Source: https://okcfox.com/news/local/oklahoma-climbs-in-business-tax-climate-rankings-state-chamber-eyes-more-improvements-to-attract-businesses-session-personal-income-taxes-politics-senate-house-g

Image of Oklahoma climbs in business tax climate rankings: State Chamber eyes more improvements to attract businesses - KOKH FOX25

Oklahoma is moving up the rankings in how competitive our taxes are compared to other states, an accomplishment the State Chamber is hoping will draw in more businesses.(KOKH)OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.(KOKH) — Oklahoma is moving up the rankings in how competitive our taxes are compared to other states, an accomplishment the State Chamber is hoping will draw in more businesses.According to the State Business Tax Climate Index, a report that measures policies across the nation, Oklahoma now ranks 19th for best tax climate.This year, the legislature eliminated the marriage penalty and the franchise tax, both of which the report listed as reasons for the improved score.The corporate tax rank was 4th in the nation. The individual income tax rank was 24th.The sales tax rank was 38th.The property tax rank was 15th and the unemployment insurance tax rank was 2nd.While Ben Lepak, the Executive Director State Chamber, said he is encouraged the state has climbed from an overall 30th ranking to 19th in the last few years, there's still work to be done."We think there is room to reduce the overall income tax rate and give taxpayers relief," Lepak said.That's a conversation that's been heavily debated in the legislature for the last session and past two special sessions.But, there's still gridlock between the House, Governor and Senate on reforming and simplifying the tax code. "We currently have six tax brackets.That's unnecessarily complicated.We have proposed that the state can move to a single flat tax and not really give up any revenue from the state coffers."Reducing the personal income tax isn't something Lepak thinks should happen overnight."We need to ensure that we do it in a phased deliberate way tied to the growth of the economy, so that if we have a downturn, we don't end up in a budget crisis and unable to fund core govt services," Lepak said."But we are really well positioned in Oklahoma to do that."Recently, our state has missed out on massive companies setting up shop here, and others who built a foundation in Oklahoma have decided to leave. "The more we can make our tax code competitive, the more attractive we're going to be to any business and to businesses who are already here to grow, expand, employ people, invest in the state," Lepak said.The chamber is also proposing raising the standard reduction, which is a deduction every taxpayer takes advantage of regardless of income to reduce the amount of income that can be taxed.

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