Gary Richardson, Republican candidate for governor, blasts ‘Step Up Oklahoma’ tax hike plan

Gary Richardson, a candidate for Governor seeking the Republican nomination this year, is blasting a plan backed by the Chamber of Commerce and other organizations – a proposal to fix state budget problems with the “Step Up Oklahoma” plan.
“A much more appropriate title for this absurd plan would be ‘Pay Up Oklahoma’,” Gary Richardson says. “I don’t see how lawmakers can morally justify raising taxes when it is glaringly obvious they are mismanaging the money we already gave them. I’m shocked to see people calling themselves Republicans while advocating for the largest tax increase in the history of Oklahoma. True conservatives need to rally together, reject the tax hikes that fund corporate welfare, and elect a Republican Governor who is truly dedicated to the principles of the party.”

In a statement sent to CapitolBeatOK and other news organizations, Richardson said he believes throwing more tax money toward state agencies will do nothing to solve the systemic problems that led to Oklahoma’s current budget crisis.

“While everyone should be outraged by the corruption at the State Capitol, no one should be terribly surprised by it,” says Richardson. “State agencies are spending our tax money with virtually no oversight or accountability so today’s crisis was just a matter of time. We can’t change the past but we can certainly change the future. We must demand forensic audits of every state agency, expose the waste, and end the corruption. That is the only lasting solution that will allow us to fund the pay raises our teachers and public employees deserve. Tax hikes will not solve our problems, they will only mask the problems until the next crisis arises.”
Richardson has also released a video running on social media  (, which aims to expose the flaws of the Step Up plan. 

Richardson is a native Oklahoman, a former US Attorney appointed by President Reagan and founder of a law firm in Tulsa.