Good fiscal stewardship is crucial for a stable and effective state. A functional governance system is also essential to a fair and efficient regulatory environment. Finding solutions to our state’s government and budget challenges is imperative to building a stronger, more stable future for Oklahoma.
The third branch of Oklahoma’s government, the Judicial Branch, deals with a number of important issues every year, from high-profile constitutional matters to life-changing criminal cases. Oklahoma’s judicial system is unique, and features a number of quirks which make the system specially tailored to our state’s needs. However, some features of the judicial system deserve to be reevaluated to determine whether they serve the people of the state in the best way possible. One feature of Oklahoma’s judicial system that has not been reevaluated in decades, the state’s judicial districts, tops the list of concerns for good government.
There are specific business transactions that are more complicated in Oklahoma than in other states due to current tax laws. Transactions not performed by an entity on a regular basis, such as an individual selling tangible personal property at a private garage sale, are exempt from state and local sales tax in most states under what is called an “occasional sale rule,” but not in Oklahoma.
Revenue from Oklahoma state taxes is extremely volatile. In fact, Oklahoma’s year-to-year change in total state tax revenues is the third highest in the nation. Nearly all other states that are heavily dependent on oil and natural gas tax revenue have created budget stabilization funds to boost state budget priorities as well as insulate them from the cyclical and volatile nature of the energy economy.
View an interactive visualization that compares the methods of selection of state administrative officials in all 50 states.
Explore an interactive visualization comparing Oklahoma's composition of state and local business taxes in FY2017 to other states.
In Oklahoma, county governments play a major role in providing basic government services like public safety and roads. While these services need to continue in all counties, every county’s infrastructure, population, and workforce are different, and the current one-size-fits-all system of governance promotes inefficiency and stifles innovation.
Recently, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University released their 2018 “Ranking the States by Fiscal Condition” study. View an interactive visualization to see how Oklahoma's overall ranking and fiscal solvency category rankings have compared to the rest of the nation since 2016.