The Edmond Sun

Local News

January 4, 2012

Treasurer: State economy moving faster than nation's

EDMOND — Consumer confidence continues to rise in Oklahoma with the fourth-lowest unemployment rate in the U.S., Treasurer Ken Miller said Wednesday at the state Capitol.

“We added jobs at 3.5 times faster than the national average for the year,” Miller said.

Oklahoma’s economy looks good for 2012 with room for optimism with December revenue receipts up 11.1 percent more than the same period in 2010, Miller said. This marks the 22nd month of continuous improvement, he said.

Oklahoma’s gross state product is projected to grow by 4.6 percent, while the U.S. gross national product is expected to grow by only 2.2 percent, Miller said.                           

“The fourth quarter was up 10.5 percent from the quarter last year,” Miller said. “And the total 12-month collections were up about 9.6 percent.

The 12-month collection period was $1.3 billion more than the recession’s low point of 2010, he said. Personal income tax collections rose by 16 percent. Corporate profits are strong with a December tax revenue increase of 92 percent, he added.

“Since we started our recovery, about 68 percent of the revenue that we lost since our peak in December, 2008, has been recovered,” Miller said.

Oklahoma has the fourth lowest unemployment rate in the U.S., according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Jobs were added in the state 3.5 times faster than the national rate in 2011. The state’s unemployment rate improved to 6.1 percent from 6.9 percent.

Oklahoma needs an optimal, bold and new tax structure, Miller said. Devising a new tax structure that is more competitive with other states should reward productivity and entrepreneurship, he continued.

The Oklahoma Policy Institute recently criticized a task force report to Gov. Mary Fallin that favors eliminating the state income tax while implementing funding cuts, heavier property and sales taxes.

“Despite claims in the report, there is little evidence that income tax cuts lead to economic growth when the only alternatives are increasing other taxes or cutting vital public sector supports needed by businesses and citizens alike,” said Oklahoma Policy Institute Director David Blatt. “Simply put, the math does not add up. The report’s suggestions on taxes would make permanent the state’s current budget woes and cripple our ability to meet our obligations in the years ahead.”

Miller said discussion to eliminate the state’s income tax is only beginning. Bold tax reform needs to be endorsed at the ballot, Miller said.

“If we’re good at anything at the Capitol, we’re good at studying things. That’s the easy part,” Miller said.

Miller said he does not support changing the tax structure because of easy politics. Implementation is the hard part of reform, he said. Rarely is someone willing to actuate reform, that is conducive to improving income and quality of life, Miller said.

“For me what needs to dominate the debate is economics,” he said. “It’s not politics — it’s not ideology — it’s economics.” | 341-2121, ext. 114

Text Only
Local News
  • Gas State gas price plummets 18 cents in 25 days

    Abundant domestic refinery production is behind a steep 18-cent plunge in Oklahoma gasoline prices at the pump during the last 25 days, AAA reports.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • A Q&A on ‘Obamacare’ Court Rulings

    On Tuesday, two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings on the legality of tax subsidies being provided to people who bought “Obamacare” health insurance policies in Oklahoma and 35 other states.
    Here’s a look at the rulings’ potential impact in Oklahoma.

    Q: I’m confused. What did the courts rule today?
    A: A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals circuit in Washington, D.C., decided that the government can’t provide tax subsidies for Affordable Care Act plans purchased in 36 states where the federal government is operating the health insurance exchange. Oklahoma is one of the 36 states. A few hours later, the U.S. Court of Appeals circuit in Richmond, Va., issued a conflicting ruling that upheld the legality of the health-care law’s tax subsidies.

    July 22, 2014

  • June healthy month for Oklahoma jobs

    Nearly 10,000 new jobs in Oklahoma were created in June, according to the U.S. Labor Department.
    Gov. Mary Fallin said Tuesday the state experienced one of the largest increases in employment in the nation in June. More than 9,600 additional people joined the state’s workforce in June.
    The unemployment rate in June dropped to 4.5 percent, its lowest ratio in six years. June’s rate was down a percentage point from 4.6 percent in May and April, according to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.

    July 22, 2014

  • Former OSU line coach having impact on Texas staff

    It was quite possibly the biggest coaching coup of the offseason and Oklahoma State was at the wrong end of it — former Cowboy offensive line coach Joe Wickline joining the staff for Charlie Strong’s Texas Longhorns.
    “It’s always good when you go hire staff and you look at just getting the right people within your program. And, a lot of times, guys know a lot of Xs and Os, but it’s all just about developing a player,” said Strong, Tuesday during the Big 12 Conference Football Media Days. “Joe and I, we’ve coached together at two different places. But just with him being within his conference and knowing the conference, he’s been a great asset.”

    July 22, 2014

  • Whataburger celebrates children’s superhero spirit with ‘Super-Duper’ event

    It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a Super Duper Celebration! In the heart of every child lives a superhero and on Thursday Whataburger restaurants will celebrate the superhero spirit in all of us with an evening of family fun from 5-7 p.m. at its location at 421 S. Broadway.
    Customers can spend quality time with their little heroes and treat them to a superhero-themed celebration of food, activities and giveaways. Children 12 and under dressed in a superhero costume will receive a free kid’s meal. There will be a Whataburger photo booth and Whataburger’s mascot, Whataguy, will also be present to join the fun.

    July 22, 2014

  • Kenya Edmond man confesses to crimes in Kenya

    A federal grand jury alleges a 19-year-old Edmond man staying at a children’s’ home in Kenya engaged in illicit sexual conduct with residents ages 4-9.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS includes Edmond in heat advisory

    The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for areas including Edmond.
    It will be in effect from noon Tuesday to 7 p.m. Wednesday, a period during which afternoon heat index values will be near 105 degrees. Individuals exposed to the extreme heat for a prolonged period may develop heat-related illnesses, according to the NWS.

    July 22, 2014

  • Police respond to toddler tragedy at park

    A 2-year-old child has died after a tragic incident during the weekend at a popular Edmond park, a police spokeswoman said.

    July 22, 2014

  • Germans from Russia group plans annual meeting in Edmond

    The Central Oklahoma Chapter of American Historical Society of Germans from Russia will have its annual All State meeting on Aug. 9 at the Memorial Road Mennonite Brethren Church, 4201 E. Memorial Road, in Edmond.

    July 22, 2014

  • Goddard Students learn about animal behavior

    Animals can be fun, friendly and sometimes dangerous. That is what the students at Goddard School on North Western are learning this summer and this week they are learning about pets.
    Each summer Goddard School’s across the nation choose from a provided list of curriculum to use with their students that would be popular with the children. From learning about insects to a tiger safari, each summer is filled with creative learning.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
NDN Video
Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success

If the Republican runoff for the 5th District congressional seat were today, which candidate would you vote for?

Patrice Douglas
Steve Russell
     View Results