February 1, 2017
Bill Shapard

Oklahomans favor reducing or eliminating wind tax credits in order to fund teacher pay raises

According to the most recent Quarterly Poll from SoonerPoll, a plurality of Oklahoma likely voters believe reducing or eliminating corporate tax credits and subsidies for wind energy companies is the best place to start in funding teacher pay raises.

"Legislators say they got the message from last year's election about raising teacher pay," said Bill Shapard, founder of SoonerPoll. "These poll results tell them where voters believe the funding should come from."

Nearly one in three voters believed funding for increased teacher salaries should come from reducing the non-teaching workforce costs in Oklahoma's higher education system.

Only 14 percent of likely voters believed teacher pay raises should come from increased taxes.

"These poll results show Oklahomans want legislators to look other places before trying to raise revenues from increased taxes," said Shapard.

[box][QUESTION] Many Oklahoma lawmakers have expressed a desire to enact a teacher pay raise during the 2017 legislative session. However, the legislature will likely be facing a significant state budget gap. To help fund teacher pay raises, which of the following options would you prefer?

1. Reduce or eliminate corporate tax credits and subsidies for wind energy companies42.12. Reduce non-teaching workforce costs in Oklahoma's higher education system29.73. Increase taxes14.04. Do not raise teacher salaries at this time14.3


A plurality of Republicans, Democrats and Independents all favored cutting tax credits and subsidies to wind energy as their first choice for funding teacher pay increases, including conservatives, moderates and liberals as well.

Republicans were more likely than Democrats in wanting to make raising taxes to fund teacher pay increases a last resort.

About the Poll, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, asked these questions of Oklahoma likely voters as part of the SoonerPoll Quarterly Poll, which was commissioned by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA).

The scientific study was conducted from December 19-21, 2016 with 440 likely Oklahoma voters selected at random statewide from a tri-frame of both landline telephone and cell phones, plus a online panel from Research Now. The sample was weighted by age, political party, and congressional district in order to reflect the Oklahoma likely voter population for a general election. The weighting was conducted using a 'layered technique.'

The sample reflects the traditional demographical profile of the Oklahoma likely voter with roughly half of respondents identifying as conservative and attending religious services once or more per week. The study has a Margin of Error (MoE) of ± 4.60 percent.

This poll not only conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls but exceeds the standard disclosure with a Call Disposition and Rate Calculation Report. A complete description of the methodology can be found here.

The poll's Call Disposition and Rate Calculation Report can be viewed here. A beta version of the Weighting Table Report can be viewed here.

Bill Shapard
About the Author

Bill Shapard

Bill is the founder of and ShapardResearch, a full service market research firm based in Oklahoma City. Bill began his career in polling after working on major campaigns for both Republicans and Democrats in Oklahoma from 1996 until founding SoonerPoll in 2004.