Addressing questions from the audience, Brown said the lottery that was approved by Oklahoma voters in 2004 is now bringing in $88 million for the state’s education system. He and Wilson both said that the amount is less than Henry had claimed the lottery would raise when the issue was being debated, but is in line with what legislators had predicted.
By the time the hour-long breakfast was over, the conversation had come back around to where it had started – tax cuts.
Wilson said a simple formula that can be used to compute taxes (and tax cuts) in Oklahoma is: Fifty cents per month – $6 a year – for each taxpayer equals $10 million in state funds.
He added that surveys of top corporations in the nation have indicated that low taxes are not a high priority when those companies are deciding to build locations in any state. They’re more interested, he said, in quality of life issues.
“We cannot attract businesses until we expand our infrastructure,” said Wilson.
“When you walk in and tell [employees], ‘Pack up, we’re moving to Oklahoma,’ they pack up. But when you go home and tell Mama ‘Pack up, we’re moving to Oklahoma,’ she says, ‘What’s there to do in Oklahoma?’”