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Income-tax-free states growing, at Oklahoma’s expense

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A recent guest editorial in The Oklahoman by state Rep. Tom Newell relates how income-tax-free states like Texas and Florida are experiencing major economic gains. One of the latest examples is Toyota’s announcement to move its North American headquarters from Torrance, Calif. to Plano, Tex.

Often, though, as Newell points out, economic growth in Texas and Florida has occurred directly at Oklahoma’s expense.

Oklahoma’s 2014 legislative session had its high points, including major public employee pension reform. But the fact remains Oklahoma is still in the middle of what Gov. Mary Fallin has called an “income tax sandwich” between tax-cutting Kansas to our north and no-income-tax Texas to our south.

Meanwhile, Missouri is making moves to better compete in the interstate tax competition taking place in America’s heartland. And another governor, South Carolina’s Nikki Haley, has stated she wants to eliminate her state’s “penalty on work.”