OKCNP Endorses Step Up Oklahoma Plan
Association of nonprofits encourages Legislature to consider initiative to produce much-needed recurring revenue for Oklahoma
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits has announced that it has endorsed the Step Up Oklahoma Plan, encouraging the Legislature to consider a number of various pieces of legislation and policy issues to shore up the state’s ailing budget.
Marnie Taylor, the Center’s president and chief executive officer, called the plan a necessary, bipartisan solution to years of budget problems faced by Oklahoma.
“The Center supports this important coming together of business and civic leaders to endorse a multi-pronged approach to fixing our budget,” Taylor said. “For too long, Oklahomans and the nonprofits that improve our communities have been challenged because of the budget woes that resulted in stagnant funding and cuts affecting various charities. By addressing long-term revenue needs through the Step Up Oklahoma Plan, our Legislature has the opportunity to put the well-being of Oklahomans first.”
While the Center hopes to hear more details about how the revenue can be allocated, it especially appreciates the intention of making the budget whole. Nonprofits continue to see demand for services rise while resources dwindle.
“I am especially grateful that this plan did not harm our charitable giving incentives,” Taylor said. “The federal tax reform package passed at the end of 2017 will probably have a negative effect on giving. By maintaining the incentives to give in Oklahoma by not capping charitable giving, we can continue to expand our generosity through philanthropy.”
The Step Up Oklahoma Plan was announced two weeks ago by a group of bipartisan business leaders to address the budget impasse and provide a solution that was amenable to a diverse array of businesses. Taylor said the nonprofit sector was eager to hear more details about the plan.
“We employ almost 10 percent of the workforce in the state,” Taylor said. “Nonprofits are a huge economic driver both in the wages and economic impact it provides but also in the savings our organizations provide to communities. However, our business model is maintained on both private and public funding. We hope that we can partner with the business sector on the Step Up Oklahoma Plan to encourage the Legislature to address the revenue issues faced by the state.”
Taylor said the state has a “long way to go” as it advances the plan’s components which include budget legislation and major policy changes that would require a vote of the people.
“I know that there are a lot of moving parts here,” Taylor said. “But we are cautiously optimistic the Legislature will consider this an encouragement from the private sector to make changes necessary to improve Oklahoma.”