Morgan: Staying the path

Fred Morgan, President and CEO

It’s hard to believe, but a new legislature is less than a month away. If history is any indicator, more than two thousand new bills and resolutions will be introduced in the House and Senate. These measures will impact virtually every aspect of our daily lives. Whether you are an employee or employer, these laws affect you personally.

Poll after poll shows jobs and the economy are the most important issues to Americans. Fortunately, our governor and legislators have generally remained focused on these as well, keeping Oklahoma on the forefront of job and wealth creation.

Now is the time for your voice to be heard in the halls of the state Capitol. For the past six months, the State Chamber has listened to the concerns of business and economic development leaders around the state. Through an extensive committee process, these concerns and goals have been drafted into a legislative agenda approved by our board of directors comprised of businesses large and small, statewide. You can read it on the State Chamber’s website at www.okstatechamber.com. The purpose of the agenda is to continue to create jobs, recruit capital and grow our economy.

The recent State Board of Equalization certification reflects continued growth in state revenue collections which has triggered another personal income tax rate reduction. It is worth noting that Oklahoma businesses generate a significant portion of those revenues. A healthy business environment results in increased sales tax and corporate taxes. The jobs created by successful businesses result in higher personal income taxes and capital investments generate additional ad valorem taxes.

We trust policymakers will keep this in mind this session when they consider the importance of economic development programs, the burden of additional regulations or shifting the tax burden onto businesses. Policy changes that create uncertainty or make it more expensive to do business are disruptive and self-defeating. Oklahoma is on an unprecedented roll and we should avoid killing the goose that lays the golden eggs of higher-paying jobs and increased state tax revenue.

As always, the State Chamber will be focused on supporting good business policy while opposing bills that harm businesses. We call on business leaders to be engaged by letting legislators know your concerns. Job creators focused on our democratic process can produce positive results. Preserving Oklahoma’s dynamic economy, our jobs and your business depend upon it.

This article was posted in The Journal Record as part of Fred Morgan's monthly opinion editorial.

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